Too many things happening at once, and too many distractions. Suddenly, despite my best intentions, it's a fortnight since I last posted to this blog. And I have posted twice in the meantime – but to another blog, Writer's Cafe.
On May 8, under We didn't do the Kama Sutra, Grumpy Old Journo foreshadowed the first of those two Cafe posts – a review of Slips of Speech, a US manual on English usage published in 1895. Despite its antiquity and its US view of definitions and spellings, I found Slips useful. Its general advice was sound, and it was written in clear language which did not assume the reader was already versed in the terminology of grammar and rhetoric.
Slips wouldn't be your primary reference, of course – it's an electronic book, but you can download it to your computer, free of cost and free of hassles, and it's worth a browse. Its index is not functional because the page references were lost when it was scanned to a digital format.
I also compared Slips with a number of other manuals on English usage, and provided this link to The Economist magazine's excellent style guide, which can easily be accessed online whenever one seeks rulings on punctuation, spelling, English usage and the like, as well as for much general fact-checking.
My second post came after Alex, another Writer's Cafe member, strongly praised two ebooks on pioneering ideas in labour management – Walter Dill Scott's Increasing Efficiency in Business and F.W. Taylor's Scientific Management.
It was of interest, I thought, that the trigger for Australia's most bitter industrial dispute, the rail and tramways strike of 1917, was the introduction of Frederick Taylor's card system for recording every detail of the men's work, and that's what I wrote about in the post.
I may follow up soon in Grumpy Old Journo with a lament for the passing of some of the values of the old working classes, but I'd like to give it a little more thought.