Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Everybody Think I Goofed

The bad news: There’s a typo in paragraph three of my article. The good news: There is none in the seventh. It just looks like there is.

When I first read the phrase “everyone come here,” I thought that was a mistake. Turns out it’s not, at least not in Australia, which is where the new Curve editorial regime is from. Australians, like the English, treat collective nouns as plurals. So it’s correct to say, “Everyone come,” because Australians think of “everyone” as a group of individuals, and use the same verb form they would use in the sentence, “One hundred thousand people come every year.”

Americans, on the other hand, think of “everyone” as a monolithic group, so the word gets a singular verb, the same form used in the sentence, “One person comes every day.”

Yes, you can certainly make the argument that I am an American writer writing for a primarily American audience, and so Australian words should not be put in my mouth. But what’s done is (are?) done. And I have to admit, the Australian way of thinking does kind of make sense. Isn’t “everybody,” by definition, more than one person?

This is my story, and I’m sticking to it, because I would rather you know that I’m a grammar dork than suspect that I don’t know how to conjugate.

Monday, February 14, 2011


That Australia article I wrote last summer finally saw the light of day. I’m a Curve subscriber and just got the issue that it appears in in the mail, so it should be on newsstands soon.

The article is on page 64, if anyone’s wondering, and no, the two women pictured are not Pipi and me. I don’t know who they are. I think it’s a stock photo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Bother?

I went to this trouble because I recently got a gig writing blog entries for Travelocity.com, and they require all freelancers to have a business license. I was very excited to get the job, because, for one thing, it pays pretty well. (Well, more than this blog, anyway.)

Travelocity is also the last company that employed me full-time before I started freelancing. I knew even at the time that this was one of the most fun jobs I would ever have, and it was hard to walk away from the people there, who were mostly my age and who for the most part shared my love of travel and writing.

I’ll be working at home, so I won’t see that crew every day (and of course a lot of my co-workers have moved on as well), but I’m still pleased to be associated again with a company I enjoyed working for in the past and of which I now have nothing but burnished happy memories.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Almost Done

The following Monday, I was able to turn in the zoning permission form, and they instantly gave me a permit number, which was the one missing piece I needed to fill in the last form, which was the actual business license application. With that done, I headed upstairs to the tax division at the recorder’s office and submitted the application, and one last check. (Actually, this office took credit cards. Nice. Who writes checks any more?)

I won’t have the certificate in my hand for another month, but my understanding is that at this point all my ducks are in a row and I am the proud sole proprietor of Clause and Effect writing and editing services. (And I have the sudden urge to see the movie Brazil again.)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Paper Trail Lengthens

The naming paperwork was just the first step in setting up an official business, although it turned out to be the most expensive and complicated part. The second thing I had to do was to get zoning approval, essentially permission to run a business out of my home. This is really easy for a business that doesn’t involve food or people coming to the house to shop, but turning in the form still required one more check and one more trip downtown.

I almost got this task completed on the same day as the business name approval, but the zoning office is several blocks from the fictitious name bureau, and closes at 4pm. So at the end of my first administrative day, I had a name for my endeavor, but no legal place to do business.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Jig is Up

I know you all would have eventually read the legal notice in the Oakland Tribune, because nobody can get enough of administrative arcana printed in six-point type in regional newspapers. So I might as well let the cat out of the bag and tell you now: The new business name I registered is Clause and Effect.

This is a name that I have been using informally for a long time, but I thought it was time to make a going concern of it. It’s a little silly, but it made the woman at the County Recorder’s office chuckle, and she must see a lot of new business names.