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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Who?

A-List Customer
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373
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Vernon, CT
Nobody likes to hear it said, but we're all going to die. I'm going to die, you're going to die, they're going to die, and in a hundred and fifty years or so it'll be as if the overwhelming majority of us alive now had never lived at all.

And pretty much all of human civilization has been invented in an effort to deny that grim and inescapable reality.
I would presume to replace the words “human civilization” in that statement with the single word “religion”.
 

Who?

A-List Customer
Messages
373
Location
Vernon, CT
That's the whole issue. Health warnings are there to keep people from selling you poison without your knowledge. Because they will if they can.
Health warnings are there to protect the drug manufacturer.

If you read the list of side effects for any of the major drugs there are depressing similarities all across the board.

As for “poison” anything is poison in a large enough dose.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,302
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Commercial advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals has no place in a civilized society and should be prohibited by law. The United States is one of only two nations in the world where it isn't. The resulting hucksterism is better suited to a patent medicine hawker of the 19th century, shoving snake oil at the rubes surrounded by banjo players and fake Indian chiefs than to anything connected to the science of medicine.

As far as disclaimers go, they're required by the FDA as a condition of allowing these ads to be broadcast. WIthout such regulation, drugs would be sold to all comers with the same disregard for reality as cigarettes used to be. If we can't ban them, I suggest regulating the content to the extent that no dramatiziations, moving images, still photos, drawings, or music are allowed in the commercials at all, merely white text on a black background, with a voice reading the message, complete with all required disclaimers, aloud.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,971
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My mother's basement
If disclosure benefits the drug manufacturer (or medical device maker, or healthcare provider), in that it shields them from liability should adverse effects result, well, that’s fine by me. By protecting themselves they’re protecting their patients.

I’ve scribbled my signature on many a document acknowledging that I have been informed of the potential dangers in whatever procedures await me. When I ask the physicians how likely any of those consequences might be, the answer is generally “somewhere between unlikely and highly unlikely.” A couple of times the answer was along the lines of “I’ve done thousands of these and it hasn’t happened yet.”

Still, though, I have undergone a couple procedures that carried a risk of death, but the odds of that were in the single digits in one case and perhaps in the low teens in the other, depending on what was found once they got to poking around in my innards. It’s sobering, But the odds of croaking had I not undergone those procedures were much higher.
 

Tiki Tom

Call Me a Cab
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2,681
Location
Oahu, North Polynesia
Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta.
I deliberately chose a place that was obscure (from a European or North American standpoint) and hot.

Americans have an interesting relationship with geography. I can remember a UCLA graduate on my postgrad course back in the day asking: ‘Is India near England’. Also in the mid-80s I was travelling around the East Coast visiting friends and I was staying for a while with an artistic-bohemian couple living on NY’s Upper West Side. Both were educated people but they told me one evening that they had no ideas where their neighbours came from:

‘They’re Black but they speak a kind of French.’

I told them that they were from Haiti: first Black republic; second revolution in the New World.

‘Oh, really?’

It seemed comical at the time that I had to come from London to explain to them the ethnic and cultural origins of their neighbours.

Not surprising. Here In Hawaii, my retirement location, I tell people that I lived in Austria for 20 years. Many have no idea where Austria is. Even more annoying, very many hear Australia when I say Austria, to the point that I have to firmly grab their attention and say “no, not Australia. Austria.” I suppose it can be forgiven, but it is annoying.

At my former job, frequent Topics of conversation (which usually put me on the defense) were: Americans are monolingual. Americans are clueless about geography/history. And Less than half of Americans have valid passports (its 37%. I just googled it.) Those were the “polite” observations that my global colleagues made. If they were really trying to get my goat, the conversation would move on to more embarrassing stereotypes. Over the course of years, I got pretty good at finding the right balance of jousting with them and goodnaturedly accepting It.

On the brighter side, most of my colleagues either had family in the U.S., or had gone to university (at least for a year or two) in the U.S., had worked in the U.S., or travelled extensively around the U.S. Really, although they sometimes pretended otherwise, they were generally very sympathetic To Americans.

If I’m going on too long about this, I confess it’s because I miss them and am still feeling a little uprooted.

https://today.yougov.com/topics/tra...ly-one-third-americans-have-valid-us-passport
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,971
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My mother's basement
For all their ills, there remain good reasons people wish to relocate to some countries over others.

My passport is expired. I’ll get around to addressing that one of these years.

It’s not that I’m averse to international travel. But I don’t feel at all penned in by limiting my voyages to God’s Country and its immediate neighbors to the north and south. I suspect that most of those Europeans who get to feeling superior on account of their international travels would be much more like us if their countries weren’t so effing small.
 
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10,873
Location
Germany
I can't remember, if we discussed the topic here, before.

It's ticking me off, that the majority of the softcover pocket book novels are 200 pages stories, pumped up to 400+ pages, these days, with the resulting amount of boringness.
That's why I'm on the point to never again buy a novel with 400+ pages!

I can't exactly remember, how it was in the 90s, but I think the pocket book novels back then were indeed real handy, compact "pocket books" and not these thick "tomes"?

R.a7f73ba5a1b50697e91becdf71693e1b


Whatever reason, I don't think, the writers can be blamed for that. They pobably deliver what they have to?

But what does that bring to us readers, if the thrill is killed with the length of the story??

I still got Jack Higgins - Pay The Devil in the handy pocket book size (200 pages) and THIS a perfect example for a thrilling, not too long story, in my opinion. I read it even a second time, after 17 years! :)

Today, I was in a book (chain)store and I indeed found a german 2021's crime thriller with only 108 pages! And I'm looking so much forward to read, believe me! :)
 
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Who?

A-List Customer
Messages
373
Location
Vernon, CT
I think there are many 400-page books which are anything but boring.

Poorly-written books are frequently boring, but well-written ones are seldom if ever that way.

If one gets paid by the word, one tends to use many of them.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,971
Location
My mother's basement
A common question among journalism students is “how long should this story be?”

The only good answer is “as long as it has to be.”

Too many writers get waaay too windy. And too many find it too difficult to keep themselves out of the story. I’m not talking about just avoiding the first-person. Too much writing is stilted and self-conscious. And too much of it appears in publications that used to feature nothing but clean, tight prose.
 

Who?

A-List Customer
Messages
373
Location
Vernon, CT
A common question among journalism students is “how long should this story be?”

The only good answer is “as long as it has to be.”

Too many writers get waaay too windy. And too many find it too difficult to keep themselves out of the story. I’m not talking about just avoiding the first-person. Too much writing is stilted and self-conscious. And too much of it appears in publications that used to feature nothing but clean, tight prose.
In view of the general decline of literacy, it should surprise no one that so much is poorly written, and that the rules of grammar and punctuation seem to be no more.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,302
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I don't mind an 850-page novel if it has 850 pages worth of story and characterization. Otherwise, as someone once sneered at a particularly bloaty Stephen King book, "that's not writing, that's typing."

What I could really do without, though, is the three-hour movie. That's a blowhard auteur directors' affectation -- HEY LOOK AT ME I'M AN ARTIST AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT -- that nobody especially likes, at least nobody I've run into after seventeen years in the exhibition business. If you can't tell your story in an hour and forty minutes, there's something wrong with your movie.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,971
Location
My mother's basement
In view of the general decline of literacy, it should surprise no one that so much is poorly written, and that the rules of grammar and punctuation seem to be no more.
Is literacy really on the decline? I’m not necessarily arguing that it isn’t, but I’ve yet to see much but anecdotal accounts on both sides of that debate.

I can offer that I know of kids in high school who were writing the sorts of term papers I didn’t see until college. And I’ve known people with advanced academic degrees whose writing skills just plain suck.

Can writing be taught? I’ve long thought that becoming a good writer is learning what NOT to do. But that involves a person’s willingness to accept criticism. As one wag or another put it, bad writers tend to like the sound of their own writing in the way they like the smell of their own farts.
 

Who?

A-List Customer
Messages
373
Location
Vernon, CT
I am of the opinion that when a significant part of the population thinks that one uses the apostrophe to form the plural, literacy is in decline.

That’s just a single example, but others abound.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,971
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My mother's basement
^^^^^
I’ve seen that for as long as I’ve known not to put an apostrophe before the “s” that makes a plural. And that goes back to my primary school days.

I heard a radio item a few years back about an informal club that dubbed itself something like The Society to Save the Apostrophe. Their gripe was that the marketing people at the Albertson’s supermarket chain DROPPED the apostrophe. So that makes the Albertsons plural rather than possessive. I believe that Walgreens has done the same.
 
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tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,971
Location
My mother's basement
And lest we forget, grammar and its formalized rules are always changing. Always have.

In the above paragraph I committed a couple of what used to be commonly considered errors. C’est la vie, as we say in the trailer park.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,971
Location
My mother's basement
I am of the opinion that when a significant part of the population thinks that one uses the apostrophe to form the plural, literacy is in decline.

That’s just a single example, but others abound.
A battle I long ago lost was to preserve the “apostrophe s” in making possessive the words ending in “s.”

In my book, it will always be “the Jones’s house” and not “the Jones’ house.”

But nobody’s reading my book.
 
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