Several events in my life have come into alignment to make me think of posting this this week. First, sometime after 4:00 Sunday morning we lost our electricity. We were a little concerned since we were having guests for lunch and the preparation involved having power. Fortunately it came on shortly before 7:00. We never did hear why we lost power, but it was definitely not because it had been "a dark and stormy night."
Second, the first several weeks of my summer break I have been hired to copy a website from one server to another. The work is fairly tedious (and tasteless) as I copy the 300 pages, one page at a time. It should take me only 60 to 100 hours. %-) My eyes are almost crossed from the repetitive nature of the task, but it does pay well. 🙂 The website belongs to ABC — the Association for Business Communication It's been interesting to read a bit of the history of this association whose goal is to improve the writing of people involved in business.
The third event in this interesting alignment will be explained later in the post.
About 8 years ago I did a blog post about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. I will copy below my explanation of the whole Bulwer-Lytton phenomenon. I have updated some things so that they are correct at the time of this post.
During my 42 years of teaching French, I've graded my share of student compositions. Some things that students have written, not always intentionally, have made me laugh out loud. The most memorable is what one student wrote in a composition for second semester French — they have to write the first paragraph of a thriller. One student wrote (and I translate) something like "The man and his dog rounded the corner and found the baker lying in the alley behind the bakery with a spoon in his chest." This student had obviously not taken the time to look up the French word for "knife" in the dictionary and gone with her memory. I commented on her paper that that must have been a horribly painful way to die! I still laugh at this one, but the really humorous twist on this is that that student went on to minor in French and lived in Paris, France, where she was transferred to work for three years with the Ernst and Young accounting firm. UPDATE: She is in the final stages of a doctorate in International Accounting from a university in France! Finding that out recently was the third event that led up to today's post.
I did a little research online about this contest. If you go to the Bulwer-Lytton site, be warned that some of what you find there may not be to your liking. I trudged through a lot to give you what I'm posting today. 😎 Here's some of what I learned from Wikipedia and from the official site for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:
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