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Archives > Somewhat Rhetorical Question of the Week

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 15, 2015 02:11PM) (new)

I am just hanging in there.


message 2: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments Um-m, a very short lifeline is how I feel when I'm at the end of my rope.


message 3: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Definitely lifeline. I don't like the thought of a noose.


message 4: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments No I don't think the analogy flows over to the evening.


message 5: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I suppose late afternoon can be very bright if you're driving. I hadn't thought of that.
Charly, I think for me the brightest time is the middle of the day, when the day is warmest and the sun is overhead.


message 6: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Lol. I never even noticed the Jangle, Charly, but it's not the first time auto correct has done that to my name.
I think if it was summer time here Charly, I'd be in agreement with you that 3pm is the brightest time of day, but as it's still winter, midday seems brighter to me. So perhaps the answer to your rhetorical question is going to vary depending on season and location.


message 7: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Charly wrote: "This week's question.

Are heavy and light synonyms since they are both the opposite of light?"


Hmmm --Charly, I'm puzzled. How is "light" the opposite of "light"? Did you mean to ask, "Are heavy and dark synonyms...?"


message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Glad to help out, Charly!


message 9: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I think they are close to being synonymous, but not an exact match.


message 10: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments "Light," in English, is used in two completely different senses: as a noun, meaning the kind of light we see (or that lets us see), and as an adjective meaning not weighing much. "Dark" is the opposite of the first sense, and "heavy" of the second sense. But the meaning of both words is completely unrelated to each other, just as the two uses of "light" have no conceptual or logical relation to each other.


message 11: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Hmmm! Don't know --I don't curl my toes while talking, and I've never worn flip-flops. :-)


message 12: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments They curl them inside their shoes. There is enough room inside most shoes. ;)


message 13: by Reggia (last edited Sep 06, 2015 03:16PM) (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments ^^^Yes, I still curl them with shoes or flip-flops, although in the latter I might try to curb the tendency.


message 14: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Honore de Balzac has a character pose a similar question in Père Goriot (I haven't read it, but I watched the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation back in the 60s), to the effect that if you could gain a fortune just by willing the death of an old mandarin in China, would you do it? (At that time, "China" was a vague world outside most European people's radar or experience.)

Personally, I would choose to save a life, hands down; but to be brutally honest, I think most people would opt for the money. (I don't have a high opinion of the morals and integrity of most of my fellow humans; and a look at our history and the kind of society we have tends to discourage a high opinion.) If I'm wrong, I'd be delighted to discover it; but I still think the majority on the life-saving side would be narrow.


message 15: by Reggia (last edited Sep 12, 2015 01:00PM) (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments My first thought was to answer as to what people would 'say'... in this age we are all so careful in how we appear. Given that, surely we would reply we'd use the $2 million to save them and have plenty left over to enjoy... kinda like wishing for more wishes when the genie comes out of the bottle.

More direct (in answer to the question posed), I think they would save the person... if they thought them worthy.


message 16: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Both Reggia and Werner make good points. I think most people would say they would save a life, and many would like a compromise as Reggia suggests, so they can have their cake and eat it too. But I think many people, despite what they say, would keep the money. If you gave them the option of saving a person near and dear to them they are more likely to do so. But if the person is distant, foreign or just completely random, they will probably value the money more. I think we regularly see this played out in society.


message 17: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments It does make one think of a reality show. :p

I didn't mean to suggest that one could choose who was worthy of being saved, only that in being confronted with the choice, they may then choose whether or now they felt that particular person was worthy of being saved (in lieu of $2 mil).


message 18: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I think I prefer they stay true to the original, but I have seen some very successful changes. So it really depends on the quality of each production.


message 19: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments A female Julius Caesar would be odd. But I suppose they were trying to shake things up a bit.


message 20: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments That kind of thing wouldn't work for me either.


message 21: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Charly wrote: "With this weekends eclipse and full, blood,and harvest moon upon us I ask "Do you think a full moon really changes people's behavior?""

Some folks claim that it does, but I've never made any study of the question myself.


message 22: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments No, but I think the extra light might tempt a few more people to be out and about. And maybe just believing a full moon changes behaviour, changes how we interpret people's behaviour.


message 23: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments No, the mere mention of a book in another book that I happened to be reading wouldn't personally motivate me to read the mentioned one, if I didn't already have an interest in it. But rarely, references to the content of a particular book may pique my curiosity about it, if it's in an area of interest for me. A good example is The Long Lost Friend by Johann Georg Hohman, a compendium of Pennsylvania Dutch folklore. I wound up putting that one on my to-read shelf, mainly because various characters in Manly Wade Wellman's supernatural fiction make reference to it, as a sourcebook for counteracting evil magic and demonic powers; and that kind of thing intrigues me. :-)


message 24: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Yeah, I would if the book being referenced sounded interesting or if it helped me to understand the book I was currently reading. For example, the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde reference many literary novels, and I've ended up reading a number of those.


message 25: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Building on what Janelle wrote, reading books or stories that are spin-offs or pastiches of earlier works can definitely make me want to read the originals. For instance, Wayne Reinagel's Pulp Heroes - Khan Dynasty takes off on a number of 1920s-1940s pulp series that weren't on my radar before, but which I'm interested in exploring now. And The New Adventures of Senorita Scorpion made me aware of the original story cycle by Les Savage Jr., which Barb and I are reading together now.


message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Charly, I guess I view it as both!


message 27: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments As beautiful as Autumn is with all the leaves turning red and gold, I view it as the precursor to winter. I'm not fond of winter.


message 28: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments Being a summer lover, I've usually viewed autumn as precursor to winter. In any event, I don't get to enjoy the glorious fall colors being down here in AZ now.


message 29: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments For me, whether or not an author is well established or has just completed his/her first novel isn't really a big consideration in choosing my reads. I tend to focus on particular books that interest me, regardless of the author's experience level. Sometimes these are first novels (and I've read some extremely good ones, that got five stars from me). At other times, I'll be drawn to a book by an established author, if the premise and subject matter strike me as intriguing.

And no, I don't feel a need to start with an author's first work and read the whole corpus in chronological order. Again, I start with particular books that interest me in themselves, which may or may not be the author's first. (Often, I'm drawn to their better known works, which tend to be produced later in their careers.) Series books are an exception; those I like to read in order, though I've made exceptions to that generalization, too.


message 30: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I'm with Werner, I don't mind if the author is established or a newbie.
I do however have a thing about reading an author's books through from their first book. I'm more likely to do this when there are a lot of books available by an author or if I have really enjoyed a book and decide I want to read everything that author has produced. I like to see how the author has developed their craft from the beginning of their writing career.


message 31: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments Charlie, AZ fall is like east coast summer but with less hours of sunlight. :-(

* * *

I don't think much about authors, I just peruse books for what seems interesting. However, once I find one I really enjoy I do seek out other things they've written. So in that respect, yes to the second question.


message 32: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Yes to the first question Charly, and yes to the second one also. But as you're the one doing the work of coming up with the questions, it's up to you.


message 33: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments Yes to the second -- please keep doing these. :-)

To the first -- I honestly just don't know, although admittedly I'm leaning towards disagree. Perhaps I'm becoming cynical which points to Part II... ;-)


message 34: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments In the context of the Beatitudes (where that quotation appears) in the Synoptic Gospels, my understanding is that the blessings are mainly of an eschatological nature. That is to say, those who now generally have disadvantaged situations in the way things are run, and who don't exert a great deal of bossy power and influence now, will find their status greatly changed for the better in the future kingdom of God. (Other interpreters might have a different view.)


message 35: by Reggia (last edited Nov 08, 2015 06:42PM) (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments Yes, it does. I find it too difficult to read about Russia during winter... so bleak and cold. Also, reading a story set in a tropical setting is enjoyed any time of year but especially in winter.

Where I am makes a difference, too, but that might be more of a mood-thing. For instance, when going on vacation I will consider whether or not a certain book is something I will enjoy and be able to focus on at the beach, on the plane, etc. Truth be told, I don't generally read too well on vacation -- except maybe during air travel but generally I revert to magazines or newspapers. LOL, guess I get too excited about where I'm going or what's happening. :-p


message 36: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Weather doesn't affect my reading choices at all. I'm also not likely to choose books in relation to the season of the year, except for October, the month that culminates in Halloween --my Supernatural Fiction Readers group does its annual common read in October. A few other groups do annual reads in particular months, and I usually participate in those.

It's rare for me to travel by bus or plane, but if I do I like to take along a thick book to read on the way and in terminals; and I'm most apt to be traveling that way in the summer, if at all. Barb and I take our vacations to visit her family in the summer as well; so our car book gets read more in that season. And when I'm passing time in the public library up there (while Barb and my sisters-in-law shop at boring stores :-) ), I pick a short story collection, which I can partially read and return to later with less loss of continuity than a novel. So I suppose you could say that's a seasonal influence of sorts on my reading.


message 37: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I think a person's library gives insight into the person themselves. It shows not only their interests, but the way they think and their values.


message 38: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments I definitely agree with Janelle!


message 39: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments We probably shouldn't be too prone to judging each other, period. I think there's some merit to the idea that asking the right questions (or being willing to ask questions at all) is an important marker of character. (So is asking the wrong questions, in a different way!) But the kinds of answers someone comes to, or will entertain, also says a lot about what kind of person he/she is.


message 40: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Good point, Charly! (I was interpreting the Voltaire quotation as a reference to the kind of existential questions we ask ourselves; but I don't really know the context in which he said it.)


message 41: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Charly wrote: "I don't know the context either but, the line came across on my home page as one someone was adding and I thought it would make a good question.
The questioner sometimes asks a question for educat..."


And both good reasons, Charly!


message 42: by Werner (last edited Nov 29, 2015 05:39PM) (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Hmmm! Charlie, the Bible would have first place on my list, too. For my second book, being ever-practical, I think I'd opt for a good thick book on wilderness survival techniques and do-it-yourself tool-making, crafts, and construction.

For my third book, I'd definitely want something really thick, with a LOT of reading content --maybe an omnibus volume, with more than one work in it? (Or can we count a book that has more than one volume to it as a single "book?" :-) ) Probably I'd want something I hadn't read before, so it would have more freshness for me. (And probably fiction; I read nonfiction more quickly, so might go through it too fast.) I'll need to give that one a bit more thought!


message 43: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I'd definitely want to take my Bible, and I think Werner's idea of a survivalist book is great. If I was on an island without my husband, I'd take it as my second book. But if he was there, I wouldn't really need it, so I'd take a large novel/omnibus novel instead. Not sure what though. As my third book I'd take a large anthology of poetry, preferably one featuring a range of poets.


message 44: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments I'm not quite sure... a long novel of some sort, perhaps Don Quixote... something witty, maybe The Importance of Being Earnest... and a practical book of survival skills. Although I like the idea of a Bible, too -- can we just call that one a given? ;-)


message 45: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments Good idea, Reggia. Then we can take an extra book!


message 46: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Would it be cheating to pick Harvard Classics: Five Foot Bookshelf? :-)


message 47: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2278 comments LOL! I just want to know if Werner will accept my local library card if I should manage to raft over to his island. :-p


message 48: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 751 comments I'd be in on that!


message 49: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments Sure, Reggia and Janelle, I'd accept your local library cards! You can raft over anytime. :-)


message 50: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2168 comments It's living with myself for a year with limited books that I'm worried about! :-)


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