March 27, 2013

"The transactions in Montana copper that made him many times a millionaire found him physically robust but on the verge of soft-mindedness..."

"... and, suspecting this, an infinite number of women tried to separate him from his money."

I suspected that some of you might be hoping for another sentence from "The Great Gatsby." (Here on the Althouse blog, there's the "Gatsby" project, which happens these days when the mood strikes me, and consists of a sentence from the great novel, taken out of context, to be employed — however you wish — as a conversation piece.)

Today's sentence has a resonance of extravagant numbers: "many times a millionaire" and "an infinite number of women."

There's also the nice hard and soft. Our man is "physically robust" but "soft-minded." Hard and soft might correspond to male and female, but it's the male who is both hard and soft. Hard below the neck and soft above. And the women have enough stuff above the neck to suspect... to get a glimmer of what's going on. They are gold-diggers, but in this case it's only copper. Tawdry!


edutcher said...

Copper was as big a metal (remember, we're at the beginning of the Electric Age) as gold.

At first, I thought it was going to be something to do with Teddy Roosevelt. Of course, there was nothing soft-minded about him.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Scotty was on to something about environmental causes of Alzheimer's.

madAsHell said...

mood striks me

Sometimes, I'll post a comment, and then I'll see a glaring error. The spelling nazi in my head goes berserk.

Ann Althouse said...

@madAsHell Please distinguish a typo from a misspelling.

Sydney said...

I wonder how those copper transactions made him physically robust. Did he have to dig the mines himself? "Copper transactions" sounds more like stock trading. Desk work, not physical labor.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

@madAsHell Please distinguish a typo from a misspelling.

To do that, we must enter the writer's head.

Darrell said...

Swells and bullshit artists can't figure out what's involved in real jobs. That's why Hollywood writers never get it right.

Ann Althouse said...

"To do that, we must enter the writer's head."

But there are some easy cases. If I write "striks" for "strikes," you can see that it's a typo.

edutcher said...

Not getting in a fight, but I would think a typo is the machine's fault, as opposed to the writer's.

You can fat-finger a word and it would seem that counts as a misspell.


XRay said...

Nah, not tawdry. Though I know you are making a joke... to a degree.

"That's why Hollywood writers never get it right."

I'm sure you've noticed how in the great majority of Hollywood films the leading characters live a quite nice life. Meaning, money, and all that goes with it.

The occasional film does focus on those of lesser means, but it is a rarity, usually involving aliens or an overreaching government.

traditionalguy said...

In NW Georgia there was a copper mining plant on the Tennessee border at Copperhill. The workers had many serious health problems and the surrounding valley is still dead and bare from the sulfuric acid processing done there.

I knew a plant manager's family from there. They were big into Geology study, as all miners seem to be. The earth is a fascinating study. The father died a hard death from mystery disease, and the daughter whom I knew had a diabetes condition that killed her young.

Sam L. said...

madAsHell said...

A typo becomes a spelling error after the first review.

You are the moderator. There is no sense in attacking the moderator. Your efforts have produced a high quality conversation.

I was really more concerned with my own torment, then yours. How could I miss such a glaring error?!...and I have posted several.

Of course, if spelling was a problem for you, then I wouldn't be here.

William said...

Is there any valid reason to depict copper miners as soft headed? Were they like hatters?.....Coal miners are mourned and celebrated and diagnosed, but you hear very little of copper miners....Successful gold miners are the ones who catch the hot chicks. Silver miners also make out all right. This is the first I've heard of copper miners, and where would we be without them..

Craig said...

Some naturopaths attribute "brain fog" to excess copper in the bloodstream.

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Chip Ahoy said...

Gatsby's copper millionaire.

I have a new thing that I"m doing all the time. Wanna hear it? Okay, goes like this: To blend something into another, morph it with portions of both over a series of frames, I copy both images four times and stack them as rungs on a ladder in the layers window so eight layers for one morph. Then label them 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, and activate them one by one and change the opacity for each layer according to their label. Then blend them in pairs retaining their order.

and there is the morph in four layers, which turn to four frames for a little movie.

Or it can also go


But a solid must be behind it (under it all) or else trouble ensues with the transparency.

The bummer about Photoshop is going back and forth constantly picking up tools then telling the tool exactly what to do, and I mean exactly. That's what makes it look so impossible. They're giving you ten billion choices all over the place and you have to keep multiple windows open simultaneously and switch back and forth between them adeptly. So you find yourself going, "Okay, what was I doing again?" oh yeah, i was picking the shape of the brush and the size and telling it to be fuzzy and not dump so much paint.

And it's like click click click click click click click, it can drive you crazy and wonder, "Am I wrecking my keyboard with all these clicks?"

To combine two layers takes four clicks. Activate A, activate B, deactivate the previous pair (and everything else that is active) and another click to tell it which rung to end up on, the one with the appropriate label positioned in the right spot on the right rung in the layers window.

a SWVA liz said...

Thank you Chip, for all you do. I couldn't be more impressed. I think it might even be worth learning, but begrudge what it would cost me personally to learn it.

Anonymous said...

Re: "I suspected that some of you might be hoping for another sentence from "The Great Gatsby."

Only 'suspected?'

I have proudly put Fitzgerald in a half-a-dozen recent threads trying to ignite your Gatsby fire: Hip Hop Fitzgerald, Indian Cobra Fitzgerald, etc etc and you only 'suspected'?

I must be more subtle than I previously believed. Like Ninja subtle.

Hmmm. Ninja Fitzgerald Robot. Might have to think on that...

Anonymous said...

Of course, I thought the "As a lawyer I’m appalled.... As a student of art history, I’m moved" post should've received a retroactive Gatsby Project tag.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Tawdry!"

A combination of the names "Tawny" and "Audrey."

Ann Althouse said...

As the "we must enter the writer's head" intuits, the spelling/typo distinction is about the mind. The failure to see the typo in proofreading doesn't change a typo into a misspelling, because the question is what the writer knows. If you know how to spell a word, but you've mistakenly put the letters down wrong and you haven't noticed yet or you've noticed but you don't care, that's a typo.

Misspelling is a different kind of wrongness, wherein one believes the letters are all there and in the right order or doesn't know what is right and chooses not to take the time to look it up.

Under that definition, I don't think I have ever misspelled writing this blog, other than (very rarely) the occasional proper name. Phil Spector... Arlen Specter... There, I could believe wrong is right.

I care about proofreading, but I make mistakes because: 1. my eyesight isn't great, and 2. I tend to believe I'm seeing what's supposed to be there.

Anonymous said...

Re:"Phil Spector... Arlen Specter."

And, of course, SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).

ken in tx said...

Tradguy, that area in north Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee is being reclaimed through a joint project of the University of Georgia, and I think the University of North Carolina. There is a copper mining museum there. I don't remember which side of the state line it is on. A docent at the museum had lived there all her life and said that she and many others missed the old barren landscape. It was beautiful like the western desert is beautiful, she said. Also, she said there were no mosquitoes, no other bugs, no snakes, no rats, and no allergies, all of which they have now.

The soil there contained a lot of copper sulfide which is a natural fungicide. The plants needed to reclaim the area depend on a symbiotic relationship with different fungi. Introducing new fungi was the approach taken and it seems to be working. The formerly barren hills are now covered with young trees and grasses.

Crunchy Frog said...

I would have liked to have seen Montana.

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