Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 260272 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

AfleetAlex

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 529
  • Proud cat mom and Auntie
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1470 on: November 20, 2013, 10:28:55 AM »
I started it and couldn't get beyond about 1/4 of the way through.  HATED it!
What is "it"?

IS IT!  What is it...

Sorry.  Faith No More moment.  ;D

I need a LIKE button  ;D
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28769
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1471 on: November 20, 2013, 10:46:18 AM »
There have been rings with stones darned near the size of doorknobs.  Look at Elizabeth Taylor's ring here:



Wouldn't that thing be heavy and uncomfortable and awkward? Think how easily it would snag on something!

O/T I don't have much else that would compare physically to Ms Taylor, but I'm rather fascinated that she had short little fingers, just like mine!

Because of my finger shape, I avoid bulky rings, because they make short fingers look even shorter. Presumably, she felt the thrill of wearing a diamond the size of Gibraltar overcame that objection. But honestly, I can't imagine any hand (except maybe Andre the Giant's) that would not be overwhelmed by something that big.

Back on topic: Any diamond "the size of a quail egg" is going to be about 1/2 inch in diameter, and not likely used as a secondary stone on a ring. I suspect the authors have heard "size of a quail egg" as sort of a standard description for "big diamond"* and have never actually seen quail eggs, or imagined the size of ring that several of them in one setting would create. It would look like you were wearing a brooch on your hand.

*Stephen Jay Gould, the biologist, wrote an interesting article about why the ancient horse ancestor Eohippus is always described in popular literature as "about the size of a Fox Terrier," even though that breed of dog is no longer common.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 10:49:36 AM by Twik »
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10014
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1472 on: November 20, 2013, 11:00:10 AM »
I was thumbing through a book today and came across an engagement ring described as "a sapphire surrounded by diamonds the size of quail eggs." Eeek - what is the size of the thing? I couldn't fit one quail egg on my finger, much less several of them around a sapphire.

Since a quail egg is around the size of a plastic soda bottle cap, that's going to be a really heavy ring. To say nothing of the fact that you won't be able to see the sapphire unless it's the size of a hen's egg!
Maybe the author meant that the central sapphire was the size of a quail's egg, surrounded by smaller diamonds?  A lot of authors seem to specialize in misplaced modifiers. 

There have been rings with stones darned near the size of doorknobs.  Look at Elizabeth Taylor's ring here:



Wouldn't that thing be heavy and uncomfortable and awkward? Think how easily it would snag on something!

It would make a dandy punch ring, I think.

That's the Krupp diamond, I believe- later renamed The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1473 on: November 20, 2013, 11:01:26 AM »
*Stephen Jay Gould, the biologist, wrote an interesting article about why the ancient horse ancestor Eohippus is always described in popular literature as "about the size of a Fox Terrier," even though that breed of dog is no longer common.

...I've always thought Eophippus was bigger than that. I LOVE me some fox terriers. If I could get a purebred dog, that would be the one, though I'm torn between wire and smooth.


Back on topic, there's one book that while I loved the book overall, I can't stand parts of the middle section. Q-Squared. I like the alternating timelines bit, I like the derailment at the end when they all come together, but I can't stand the parts where Trelane is absorbing all the power and the "paragraphs" are sentence fragments thrown in bizarre formation. It looks like modern poetry, and is completely distracting.

Also, Stephen King and his penchant for random parenthesis breaking up a sentence. I like some of his older stuff, but haven't had a chance to read his newer stuff. But it's always been frustrating to have a sentence broken up into tiny chunks by another sentence that's being interspersed. Ugh. No.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28769
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1474 on: November 20, 2013, 12:47:23 PM »
*Stephen Jay Gould, the biologist, wrote an interesting article about why the ancient horse ancestor Eohippus is always described in popular literature as "about the size of a Fox Terrier," even though that breed of dog is no longer common.

...I've always thought Eophippus was bigger than that. I LOVE me some fox terriers. If I could get a purebred dog, that would be the one, though I'm torn between wire and smooth.


That was one of Gould's points. Here's Wikipedia's comment on this issue:

Quote
In elementary-level textbooks, Eohippus is commonly described as being "the size of a small Fox Terrier", despite the Fox Terrier being about half the size of Eohippus. This arcane analogy was so curious that Stephen Jay Gould wrote an essay about it ("The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone", essay #10 in his book, Bully for Brontosaurus), in which he concluded that Henry Fairfield Osborn had so described it in a widely distributed pamphlet, Osborn being a keen fox hunter who made a natural association between horses and the dogs that accompany them.[3]

So, someone once used the phrase, and it became boilerplate for descriptions of Eohippus.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1475 on: November 20, 2013, 12:56:42 PM »
I suppose quail eggs and fox terriers are kind of like breadboxes. I don't think I've ever seen a breadbox, but I know what size it is because it's always used in comparisons.

Stephen King is a great writer, but yes, his style of randomness slows things down a little when he gets into a groove. Fortunately, he doesn't do many long passages like that.

I for one get tired of books which are a little liberal with geography. Films too, actually. The idea that every landmark in London exists in one small area and you can walk from one to the other in a few minutes kind of detracts from things. So is saying that you can walk from the Pyramids of Giza to Mecca in an hour or so. I know the author wants to fill their story with lots of well-known things from an area to really help you feel like you're there, but once they start doing this I have to assume the story is set in a parallel universe, which ruins a lot of the plot.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5948
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1476 on: November 20, 2013, 01:11:58 PM »
On a similar note, I hate books where everything (murder is discovered, plucky journalist suspects foul play, runs around digging up a 20 years old cold case, bad guy chases her, etc) happens in a day or two. If you throw in heroes solving puzzles that have baffled experts for years in that day, I will throw the book at the wall.

To me, that doesn't create a sense of urgency. Instead, it leaves me wondering why, if it was so obvious and so many people were trying to find the Mcguffin, why did no one find it before? Or, how can they fit in an interrogation, a car chase, an online search for obscure information and some nookie before breakfast.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16119
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1477 on: November 20, 2013, 01:13:08 PM »
I was thumbing through a book today and came across an engagement ring described as "a sapphire surrounded by diamonds the size of quail eggs." Eeek - what is the size of the thing? I couldn't fit one quail egg on my finger, much less several of them around a sapphire.

Since a quail egg is around the size of a plastic soda bottle cap, that's going to be a really heavy ring. To say nothing of the fact that you won't be able to see the sapphire unless it's the size of a hen's egg!
Maybe the author meant that the central sapphire was the size of a quail's egg, surrounded by smaller diamonds?  A lot of authors seem to specialize in misplaced modifiers. 

There have been rings with stones darned near the size of doorknobs.  Look at Elizabeth Taylor's ring here:



Wouldn't that thing be heavy and uncomfortable and awkward? Think how easily it would snag on something!

It would make a dandy punch ring, I think.

That's the Krupp diamond, I believe- later renamed The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond.

I once had a cubic zirconia that size.  It was stolen by a burglar in 1991.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5948
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1478 on: November 20, 2013, 01:16:44 PM »
How frustrating for the burglar :)

It is funny how "large as a quail's egg" has been used to describe diamonds ranging from a "mere" 20cts all the way up to a 101ct honker. Big size variation there!

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3494
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1479 on: November 20, 2013, 02:00:50 PM »
I just assumed that "big as a quail's egg" was garden-variety poetic license. Like "her eyes were as big as saucers"* or "his blood turned to ice water."

*Unconnected to the discussion of dog eye size metaphors/similes, lol.

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4353
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1480 on: November 21, 2013, 01:08:52 PM »
I suppose quail eggs and fox terriers are kind of like breadboxes. I don't think I've ever seen a breadbox, but I know what size it is because it's always used in comparisons.

That is so funny.  We always had a breadbox growing up, and one of the first things my mother bought me when I had my own place was a breadbox.  After a few years, I realized that its main purpose was to take up space on the counter top, and I got rid of it.  Never missed it (but my mother still has a breadbox!)
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

cabbageweevil

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1149
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1481 on: November 21, 2013, 02:07:49 PM »
I suppose quail eggs and fox terriers are kind of like breadboxes. I don't think I've ever seen a breadbox, but I know what size it is because it's always used in comparisons.

That is so funny.  We always had a breadbox growing up, and one of the first things my mother bought me when I had my own place was a breadbox.  After a few years, I realized that its main purpose was to take up space on the counter top, and I got rid of it.  Never missed it (but my mother still has a breadbox!)

Now I'm going to want to make up a fairy tale called "The Quail's Egg, the Fox Terrier, and the Breadbox"...

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8749
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1482 on: November 21, 2013, 02:12:51 PM »
I suppose quail eggs and fox terriers are kind of like breadboxes. I don't think I've ever seen a breadbox, but I know what size it is because it's always used in comparisons.

That is so funny.  We always had a breadbox growing up, and one of the first things my mother bought me when I had my own place was a breadbox.  After a few years, I realized that its main purpose was to take up space on the counter top, and I got rid of it.  Never missed it (but my mother still has a breadbox!)

Or to save your bread from the dog who has decided that bread is the Best Thing EVAH! and pulls it off the counter to eat the whole loaf. Not that I've recently had to buy a breadbox or anything. :)

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28769
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1483 on: November 21, 2013, 03:11:37 PM »
Is the dog a fox terrier, and does he eat the bread with quail eggs? Because there's the start of your story right there.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11879
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1484 on: November 21, 2013, 03:50:40 PM »
I suppose quail eggs and fox terriers are kind of like breadboxes. I don't think I've ever seen a breadbox, but I know what size it is because it's always used in comparisons.

That is so funny.  We always had a breadbox growing up, and one of the first things my mother bought me when I had my own place was a breadbox.  After a few years, I realized that its main purpose was to take up space on the counter top, and I got rid of it.  Never missed it (but my mother still has a breadbox!)

Now I'm going to want to make up a fairy tale called "The Quail's Egg, the Fox Terrier, and the Breadbox"...

Pretty sure that's a logic problem already.  The farmer has to cross the river, see, but his boat only has space for two (including himself).  And since his fox terrier would eat the quail's egg and the quail's egg would make a mess on the breadbox, he has to figure out what order to take them across the river in . . .