Different Genres of Expression
During the 1870s, the business world was not yet ready for the typewriter. Inventor C
Latham Sholes and his daughter Lillian faced too major objections as they demonstrated Sholes’ writing machine.
“Too expensive and too slow,” the businessmen protested.
The response discouraged the inventor, but he didn’t give up. At his home in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, he designed improvements for his machine. He also invented touch typing, a system that enables a person to type fast without looking at the keys. Touch typing was faster than handwriting. It could save both time and money. That caused businessmen’s interest to perk up. By 1900, in offices all over the united states, the clickety-clack of typewriters was replacing the scratching of pens.
The forest was quite except for the shrill cries of far away toucans. Then many leaves began to rustle nearby. Seconds later crickets and cockroaches were hopping and crawling frantically in my direction. What could be causing these creatures to run for their life? I wondered. Then I saw that: Tens of thousands of army ants were marching toward their fleeing prey- and me! The swarm of ants looked like a huge moving triangle with the ants at the head of the swarm forming the widest part and this part was as long as a school bus.
To keep the big teams as nearly even as possible, in the level of performance, a system
called the draft has been devised. This is the way it works. Names of top college players who are graduating and want to turn pro are listed. Team representatives meet for a few days, usually in New York, to select the players they wish from this list. The team that placed last in the standings that year gets first choice. The team next lowest in the standings gets the next choice and so on. Naturally the representatives will select the player the team needs the most. If one team gets a player that another team wants, the other team may trade an established team member or members for the draft choice. Naturally, a lot of wheeling and dealing goes on at this time.
Getting right down to the gory details, ever since the earliest days of movie making, stars
have been gushing, oozing, trickling or dripping blood, as the case may be, on screen. Victims in silent movies “bled” chocolate syrup, which looked just like the real McCoy on the kind of blank and white film used then. If a cow boy in a western was to get shot, just before the scene was filmed a little chocolate syrup would be poured into the palm of his hand. Then, when the cameras started rolling and the cowboy got “blasted”, he merely slapped his hand to his chest and what audiences saw was the bloody aftermath.
Now, consider for a moment just exactly what it is that you are about to be handed. It is a
huge irregular mass of ice cream, faintly domed at the top from the metal scoop, which has first produced it and then insecurely balanced it on the uneven top edge of a hollow inverted cone made out of the most brittle and fragile of materials. Clumps of ice cream hang over the side, very loosely attached to the main body. There is always much more ice cream than the cone could hold, even if the ice cream were tamped down into the cone, which of course it isn’t. And the essence of ice cream is that it melts. And it melts fast. And it doesn’t just melt – it melts into a sticky fluid that cannot be wiped off. The only thing one person could hand to another that might possibly be more dangerous is a live hand grenade from which the pin had been pulled five seconds earlier. And of
course, if anybody offered you that, you can say, “Oh. Uh, well – no thanks.”Division and Classification
There are three kinds of book owners. The first has all the standards sets and best sellers
– unread, untouched. (This deluded individual owns wood pulp and ink, not books.) The second has a great many books – a few of them read through, most of them dipped into, but all of them as clean and shiny as the day they were bought. (This person would probably like to make books his own, but is restrained by a false respect for their physical appearance.) The third has a few books or many – everyone of them dog-eared and dilapidated, shaken and loosened by continual use, marked and scribbled in from front to back. (This man owns books.)
Comparison and Contrast (block and point-by-point)
1. Some people say the business about the jolly fat person is a myth, that all of us chubbies are neurotic, sick, sad people. I disagree. Fat people may not be chortling all day long, but they’re quite a lot nicer than the wizened and shriveled. Thin people turn surly, mean, and hard at the young age because they never learn the value of a hot-fudge sundae for easing tension. Thin people don’t like gooey soft things because they themselves are neither gooey nor soft. They are crunchy and dull, like carrots. They go straight to the heart of the matter while fat people let things stay all blurry and hazy and vague, the way things actually are. Thin people want to face the truth. Fat people know there is no truth. One of my thin friends is always staring at complex, unsolvable
problems and saying, “The key thing is…” Fat people never say that. They know there isn’t any such thing as the key thing about anything.
2. Many people think that gorillas are fierce and dangerous beasts. Stories have been told about gorillas attacking people. Movies have been made about gorillas kidnapping women. These stories and movies are exciting, but they are not true. In real life, gorillas are gentle and rather shy. They rarely fight among themselves. They almost never fight with other animals. They like to lead a quiet life – eating, sleeping, and raising their young.
If clothing is a language, it must have a vocabulary and a grammar like other languages. Of course, as with human speech, there is not a single language of dress but many: some (like Dutch and German) closely related and others (like Basque) almost unique. And within every language of clothes there are many different dialects and accents, some almost unintelligible to the members of the mainstream culture. Moreover, as with speech, each individual has his own stock of words and employs personal variations of tone and meaning.
When a person is weightless, the slightest exertion causes motion. For example, if you
pushed yourself away from a chair, you would continue to move away from it. There would be nothing to stop the motion. You would float in space. Should you let go off your book, it would hang in space. Push it ever so slightly, and the book would move in a straight line. Splash water, and it would form into round drops moving in all directions.