I am a patent lawyer with a background in biochemistry. Most of the business people at my clients don’t understand what I do, what the technology is that I am working on and generally look at us as being lawyers with “propeller” beanies on our heads and pocket protectors in our shirts. They can’t judge me on what I actually do for them, generally, in the legal sense. No one can really judge the proficiency of my work product at the time it is delivered – it has to “bake” for many years before any actual decisions are reached at the US Patent Office. They can – however – judge how “good” something looks. Do I use correct grammar and punctuation? Do I use words that they can understand? Do I format my letters and applications in a clear manner that screams “organized and authoritative”?
They judge me not on what I obtain for them through my legal skills – they judge me as a copyrighter or a graphic designer. It is the hardest thing for me to teach my younger associates that they should spend as much time on their grammar and punctuation as they do on their legal research and brilliant legal positions. In the end – we get judged by our attention to detail more than our legal acumen.
Shouldn’t a patent attorney who takes pride in correct grammar and spelling and emphasizes their importance know the difference between “copyright” and “copywriter” (and “copywriter”)? It’s a common mistake, but I don’t know why. The difference between “right” and “write” is clear.
Most mainstream Victorian authors like Elizabeth Gaskell generally aren’t known for the sensuality of their writing, but the Brontës weren’t the only ones who could write about passion. Here are some evocative quotations from Gaskell’s Mary Barton, a novel about the working class in 1830s Manchester:
. . . triumphant fire . . . sent forth its infernal tongues from every window hole, licking the black walls with amorous fierceness . . .
Jem felt a strange leap of joy in his heart, and knew the power she had of comforting him. He did not speak, as though fearing to destroy by sound or motion the happiness of that moment, when her soft hand’s touch thrilled through his frame, and her silvery voice was whispering tenderness in his ear. Yes! it might be very wrong; he could almost hate himself for it; with death and woe so surrounding him, it yet was happiness, was bliss, to be so spoken to by Mary.
Meanwhile, her words — or, even more, her tones — would maintain their hold on Jem Wilson’s memory. A thrill would yet come over him when he remembered how her hand had rested on his arm. The thought of her mingled with all his grief, and it was profound, for the loss of his brothers.
What were these hollow vanities to her, now she had discovered the passionate secret of her soul?
This quotation from a tale told by old Job Legh is about passion of a sort, and it’s a marvelous image that captures the imagination:
So says she, quite quick, and stealing a look at her husband’s back, as looked all ear, if ever a back did . . .