Thursday, September 26, 2002
Hi Neil!
Obviously not a question but more of a help for those who need helping. You're blog is full of britishisms (rightly so) and took note of 'momentarily' as having two different meanings. Found this: which should suffice as a proper definition if you ever get sick of talking it out. Actually the whole dictionary is fairly good, a little funny and very true. Especially the bits in the "S" section and expletives that I only heard once before with such passion.

Well, yes, up to a point. Even over at, the American Heritage Dictionary puts in Usage Note saying it's wrong. That doesn't mean the battle to stop people using it wrongly is winnable, and language moves on like a river. Fun English2American dictionary...

I'm in Madison. The trial (I'm sueing a publisher for unpaid royalties and broken agreements) starts on Monday, unless just the Jury selection happens Monday morning and the trial starts on Wednesday. My natural urge is to write screeds about it here (because dammit, it's interesting,) but I probably won't write much, just to keep the various lawyers happy.


I was meant to be reviewing M. John Harrison's novel LIGHT for The Guardian. Just got an embarrassed e-mail from the reviews editor telling me that while she was on holiday the editor had comissioned Iain Banks to review it without checking if it was already slated for a review. Which can only be a good thing as 1) I was going to take review-writing time out of sleeping time and 2) Banksie loves it -- he's got a blurb on the back of the book about it, and he's much more likely to get Mike critical attention in the UK than I am.

It's fascinating the difference between the UK and the US for reviews, though. In the US, when you agree to review a book for a serious paper like the Washington Post, they send you a list of things to see if you need to be disqualified (did you blurb the book, are you friends with the author, etc), and then order you to keep the review and the nature of the review confidential until it's published. In the UK it's much more "Oh, Fred loved your book and is reviewing it for the Times. He says not to worry, he's saying great things about it."

Anyway, I'll write about LIGHT here when I get a chance.