Posts Tagged ‘ariadne’

Want/Need + past participle

February 9, 2008

It’s a little unsporting of TCB to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. In any case, I have been demoted to a special circle of her grammatical hell for unwittingly (naturally) using the construction “needs turned in”.

To me, that’s a perfectly natural construction, and Bartleby agrees: REGIONAL NOTE: When need is used as the main verb, it can be followed by a present participle, as in The car needs washing, or by to be plus a past participle, as in The car needs to be washed. However, in some areas of the United States, especially western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, many speakers omit to be and use just the past participle form, as in The car needs washed. This use of need with past participles is slightly more common in the British Isles, being particularly prevalent in Scotland. To her, it’s how hicks speak – and sure, it’s not something I’d use in an interview (probably) – but in casual speech, of course, no question. I guess I’ll just have to mentally edit (are split infinitives ok?) myself from now on.

In other news, the fiction project is up, and called Ariadne. I’ve no idea how much load it will take, but I don’t figure that there’ll be a huge uptake. If you have extra ideas for rules, do let me know!


Today’s big idea…

February 7, 2008

… is a collaborative fiction web. The idea is to create many different stories starting from the same point. If you don’t like the ending… write a new one. If you can see where the author’s abandoned an interesting plot twist… you can pick it up.

In principle, the web can grow in depth and in breadth as far as it likes – I imagine there’ll be a lot of abandoned threads and false starts that nobody picks up, but maybe there’ll be one or two viable novels that come out of the process. If nothing else, it can be a repository for stories that started but went nowhere, giving other people a chance to take over.

I’ve been thinking mainly about the implementation so far (for an experienced PHP dude, it would be straightforward, but there are a few quirks that I need to iron out myself) and a little about the rules. So far, I’ve got:

  • write your own work
  • release work under CC (by-sa)
  • play nicely
  • keep it as clean as is reasonable
  • 400-600 words per thread

Anything else I ought to include in the rules list? I was thinking of setting the ball rolling by posting my NaNo stories in 500-word chunks.