Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Poetry Corner: W. S. Gilbert

An interesting view of justice

WCMIK and I have just spent a lot of time cleaning up hubby’s laptop. It had been operating at a glacial pace. Partly, that’s because it’s a really slow computer to start with, but it had more problems than that. For one thing, that computer has been using IE as its web browser, making it far more vulnerable to spyware attacks than if it had been using Mozilla. For another, hubby let his antivirus software lapse, giving the spyware purveyors a three-month window in which to really burden the computer.

Last week, hubby finally got around to renewing the antivirus subscription, but he didn’t realize that just downloading the updates wouldn’t take care of unauthorized software that was already running. So this evening, WCMIK and I actually ran the full disk scan. We found nine unauthorized scripts running.

So, after about two hours of cleaning up the laptop, it now should run better – it’s still going to be slow, but not glacial any more. And hubby gave WCMIK permission to install Mozilla, and we made hubby promise not to let his antivirus software lapse again.

Meanwhile, hubby was thinking about what would be an appropriate way to deal with not only the spyware purveyors, but also the spammers and hackers. One possibility: putting them on an isolated island where there is no technology, especially no communications technology. What we want to do, more than anything else, is make the punishment fit the crime.

Thus, I present an example of some ways of making the punishment fit the crime, and I invite all of you to come up with suggestions for doing so with spyware purveyors, spammers, and hackers. Extra credit if you can make those suggestions fit into Sir Arthur Sullivan’s music.

A More Humane Mikado

Mikado.
A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I'm certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud’s waxwork.

The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
And permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

Chorus.
His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

Mikado.
The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I’ve enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and “ops”
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.

The billiard sharp who any one catches,
His doom’s extremely hard —
He’s made to dwell —
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that’s always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

Chorus.
His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jerry said...

Most of my suggestions for what to do with cyber-annoyances would cost you your G rating.

Speaking of hyphens, here is an almost-but-not-quite grammar question. I'm tweaking the word count feature in Jer's Novel Writer, and it seems that other word counters either count all hyphens as breaks between words, or none of them. How many words is "twenty-five three-ring binders"? OpenOffice says five, other programs say three. My inclination is to say there are four words in that phrase, but then there would be a very complex set of rules for determining whether a hyphen separated words or not.

As a follow-up, are there any other punctuation marks besides hyphen and apostrophe that do not constitute a break between words?

Tue Nov 29, 11:42:00 AM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

How does a URL count?
MS Word considers
http://www.usbr.gov/uc/albuq/water/SanJuanChama/Reservoirs/buckets.html
to be one word.

Tue Nov 29, 12:31:00 PM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

Oh, and I hadn't let my computer virus protection expire -- I just thought that it was running the scan on its own.

Tue Nov 29, 12:32:00 PM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

In general, if it's got a hyphen, it's all one word. The exception would be suspended hyphenation, where you have multiple choice for one or the other side of the hyphen:

When the Titanic sinks, it's every passenger for him- or herself.

Because there's a space involved, MS Word and most other word counters will count that as a separate word.

As for your "twenty-five three-ring binders," as long as you can't in good conscience separate the three from the ring with a space instead of a hyphen, you're stuck with three words. I had a similar problem with bullet-proof vests in my own NaNo novel.

Wed Nov 30, 12:00:00 AM MST  

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