Focus on Photography
Photo of the Week: "Two swans. Eyes LEFT!" By Bob Crum. Photo data; Canon 7DMKII camera in manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @60mm. Exposure; ISO 320, aperture f/8.0 & shutter speed 1/320 of a second.
Photo of the Week: "Two swans. Eyes LEFT!" By Bob Crum. Photo data; Canon 7DMKII camera in manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @60mm. Exposure; ISO 320, aperture f/8.0 & shutter speed 1/320 of a second.
Addicted to phanopoeia!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

The English language is daunting, as we know! Too many rules, too many exceptions to the rules. I follow most rules but will make exceptions when justified. However, some readers, the linguistiphiles, take exception to my exceptions. So, being column #180, It's time to diverge from photographic geekism and explain my grammatical antics.

I've enjoyed wordsmithing since October 10, 1837. I also enjoy butterfly watching, particularly the gorgeous cotundra blue (Plebejus cotundra). The slow, seductive movements of her white-ringed electric-blue wings are mesmerizing. One day, I watched a Plebejus cotundra meticulously apply eye shadow and deep purple lipstick with gold sparkles. So beautiful were her delicate purple lips enveloped in her sumptuous, blue costume of fluttering electric-blue wings that euphoria best describes my rapture.

You visualized the butterfly, didn't you? See, a few select words enabled you to imagine a beautiful blue butterfly wearing purple lipstick. The blue wings are real, the lipstick only to help your imagination create the image in your mind. If you visualized the butterfly, my wordsmithing worked. If not, I need more practice.

Some argue that some words, like, ahem, 'photoing' are not legitimate and should be banned. Whoa! Skype, selfie, streaming, YouTube, WiFi, podcast, photobomb, smartphone, app, blog and emoji are a few words that didn't exist a few short years ago! All were words created to fill a need.

But 'photoing'? Why not? Look at words like knitting, gardening, painting, cooking, drawing, swimming, cycling, jogging and juggling; all 'ing' words. I have skis, so I go skiing. I have a bicycle, so I go cycling. I have a camera, so I go -- wait for it -- photoing! Phanopoeia!

I'm told that I have a phanopoeia addiction which is a form of onomatopoeia that describes the sense of things rather than their natural sounds. Onoma, meaning "name," and poiein, meaning "to make,"= to make words. I'm particularly proud of another word I created: Phonetography! All selfie junkies know about phonetography! Phanopoeia works for me and it's all legal!

And then there's grammar and punctuation with its myriad rules. The 'missing comma' rule is punctuation that irks many readers because they claim I consistently break it. It's true, I do. For example, I went shopping and bought a camera, a lens() and filters. No comma after the word 'lens. The pious grammatists among us, as taught by High School English teachers, state that a comma must be placed after the word "lens" so it reads -- camera, a lens(,) and filters. No, not always!

My writing the last 183 years has been for papyrus books, newsprint and magazines. I cut my word-tooth on the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, my wordsmithing bible since I was 18-months old - about when I learned that wine and girls pair nicely. Grammarians note on page 429 of the AP Stylebook: "Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do NOT (emphasis mine) put a comma before the conjunction in most simple series: "The flag is red, white and blue." No comma after 'white'. So no more comments about a comma missing in a simple series!

Lastly, there's also an occasional gripe about my illegitimate use of the ellipsis (... ). Again, AP Stylebook page 432: "An ellipsis may be used to indicate a thought that the writer does not complete." HA! That's often true! Hence, I employ ellipses (plural of ellipsis) often, especially when... you know... never mind... I forgot. So dear grammarians and linguistic aficionados, take a d__e__e__p breath and chill! Besides, I enjoy being incorrigibly roguish. Happy photoing!

Photo of the week: Swans - on command - eyes left! Thank you!

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