15 November 2005

Reading About Exercising

Today I finished Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180 by Mike Magnuson. I've read a few of Magnuson's articles in Bicycling, one of which described how he lost 80 lbs. This book seemed to be an expanded version of same, so on a whim I bought it, and indeed, the book describes how he quit smoking, quit drinking and got in shape. It also details a few of the centuries in which he participated. In several spots, he nails that peculiar blend of exhilaration and agony that comes from a nice strenuous, lengthy bike ride. It made me want to join a cycling club.

In other spots, his prose gets a little too self-conscious and "writerly" for my tastes, but he is an English professor -- at SIU, but still -- and those folks are, generally speaking, highly enamored with the sound of their own voices. Regardless, I liked the book.

One last peeve: Magnuson's a tenured English professor, and yet throughout the book, he uses till when he means 'til, as in, an abbreviation for the word until. Believe you me, there's a difference. You can say that while "till" is technically incorrect, it has become part of the common vernacular and is now considered acceptable usage... but I'll still say you're a fucking idiot.

Grammar lesson over. Read the book.

1 comment:

Mike "The Fucking Idiot" Magnuson said...

Actually, it's the other way around. The word 'till,' which you can find in any dictionary and also in neat books like The King James Bible, has been in English since English was Old English. The abbreviated form of 'until,' which you say is technically correct, is in fact merely just a lame abbreviation and not a word at all, and that has become acceptable usage. Trust the professor on this one.