Sunday, January 15, 2006

Masthead changes

Let me know what you think of the new cutline on the masthead:
On the political, economic and social consequences of crime, punishment and justice in the Lone Star State, from police searches at traffic stops to the county jail, the courts, the prison system, community supervision, and everything they impact. Welcome to Texas justice: You might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride.
It's a little more descriptive of what I'm doing here (and includes more of the search terms by which people most commonly get to the site) but I'm open to suggestions ...

UPDATE: Two Three other site notes. I've added an "About me" page linked permanently in the sidebar, and replaced the recommended grits recipe -- a garlic-cheese grits affair as prepared by Austin's Threadgill's restaurant -- that disappeared accidentally this summer when I crashed the code on my old blogger template and adopted Grits' current format. Finally, I've signed up for Google's Adsense program, but have only placed the ads on individual post pages and at the bottom of the righthand sidebar, not at the top of the main screen when you come on to the site. The hope is it will generate a little ad revenue off Grits' archives (search engine hits to individual pages make up nearly half my traffic) without annoying regular visitors. There'll be a few more site tweaks in the coming weeks to spruce the place up a bit for the new year. Stay tuned ...

9 comments:

Catonya said...

I like it.

Patrick Timmons said...

I'm not sure I would go with "impact". "Affect" or "shape" might be better. And I'd also kill the reference to everything ... why not go with "world".

Patrick Timmons

Anonymous said...

"Impact" used as a transitive verb is the echo of its near cousin, "grow": both are neologisms that have been regularized by the usages of the media prose world. Journos, straights, creepos and pols all use "impact" and "grow". I would say out of spite, if I thought it likely technical mastery of English were widespread in the 21st
century in America. For the record, this is a comment about the natives, not any recent emigres.

I sympathize with Mr. Timmons, but can offer no succor: until usage changes again, we're pretty much fucked on this one.

It does have this going for it: "impact" means exactly what people want it to mean, viz., newtonian collision of bodies.

Anonymous said...

...and , done.

Game over.Texas wins.

Posthumously I'd like to add that the new masthead compensates for its final, obtuse wollop, by being actually, almost illegible... It actually looks ok, besides functioning as mini-index.

Officially I like the new masthead,
despite the neologism.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, guys, I'll fix the "impact" line. BTW, here's Dictionary.com's usage statement on the subject:

Usage Note: The use of impact as a verb meaning “to have an effect” often has a big impact on readers. Eighty-four percent of the Usage Panel disapproves of the construction to impact on, as in the phrase social pathologies, common to the inner city, that impact heavily on such a community; fully 95 percent disapproves of the use of impact as a transitive verb in the sentence Companies have used disposable techniques that have a potential for impacting our health. ·It is unclear why this usage provokes such a strong response, but it cannot be because of novelty. Impact has been used as a verb since 1601, when it meant “to fix or pack in,” and its modern, figurative use dates from 1935. It may be that its frequent appearance in the jargon-riddled remarks of politicians, military officials, and financial analysts continues to make people suspicious. Nevertheless, the verbal use of impact has become so common in the working language of corporations and institutions that many speakers have begun to regard it as standard. It seems likely, then, that the verb will eventually become as unobjectionable as contact is now, since it will no longer betray any particular pretentiousness on the part of those who use it.

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

Usage almost always trumps prescription in the long run; the Usage Panel needs to turn the page and quit staring in the mirror -- there's no hairbrushing in linguistics.

Cheers, Grits.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, imagine my astonishment to find the fogeyish
"affect."

Officially, I approve of the change in the masthead, but something about it is ineluctably 'affected.' ;)

Gritsforbreakfast said...

'Fogeyish'? Kathy says that about me, too. Guess I'll have to own it. I don't know who any of the new bands on the radio are, either. ...

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