Where they get all that uplifting e-mail

Even if you’re a sardonic, sarcastic, cynical, pessimistic person, you may have annoyingly cheery friends. And they may be the sort who relentlessly and unfailingly “keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life,” the sort who frequently send you, not jokes, not political screeds, but what they see as good news, of the non-evangelical sort. Some of what heads my way comes from Happy News. And Happy News is right here in Austin. Two blurbs on the site are: (1) “Look for some happy news for a change,” and (2) “Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive.” Just so you know.

I myself am late in finding this out; a December Associated Press feature was disseminated fairly widely. Today’s in-box happy news that prompted me to look into this phenomenon is entitled 2 Brothers Recycle Birthday Card. The card-recycling is a long family tradition for us so I know the reason this particular story was sent, but this was the item of Happy News, not all its many and peculiar predecessors, that led me its Austin origins.

2 Comments so far

  1. The Grammarian (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 10:55 am

    I noticed that you have deleted my comment, but have not bothered to correct the sentence I referenced.

    Try this:
    I, myself, am late in finding this out; A December Associated Press feature was disseminated widely.

    This construction is slightly clearer, however, it doesn’t solve your clause problems. You have two dependent clauses linked together, and a fragment preceeding the two (“Just so you know.”)
    Also, how can something be disseminated “fairly widely”? “Widely” implies mass distribution, whereas “fairly” implies the lesser. You could just say that the feature was published and leave it at that.

    ACC and the UT Informal Classes have excellent writing course offerings – you may want to look into these. I also recommmend picking up a copy of Strunk & White’s _The Elements of Style_ and reading it thoroughly.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    Try this: pick one identity and stick with it. You may want to look into punctuation. You may want to learn what constitutes proper punctuation for appositives, particularly for emphatic appositives and for reflexive ones. You may want to learn more about punctuation generally. If you wish to convey one meaning, there should be a semicolon preceding “however”; if you wish to convey another, there should be one following “however.” You may want to learn something about compound modifiers and the use of hyphens. You may want to learn the difference between dependent clauses and independent ones. You may want to read the preface of the book you recommend. You may even want to read its contents. You may want to learn the difference between formal diction and informal diction. You may want to learn the difference between grammar and other aspects of language. Fifty or more junk comments were deleted; yours may have been among them.

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