Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Avoid the Passive

Hiking on Bear Mountain a few weeks ago, I was reading (of course I read while I walk--doesn't everyone?).

The map. I was reading the map.

And the promotional/explanatory text. Bcs I'm not sure you can really *read* a map. I thnk you *look at* a map.

But anyway, there's a stretch of land that's part of the system that was acquired in 1987 via tax delinquency.

It is dedicated to "passive recreation."

The Girl and I got a huge chuckle out of that. How do you passively recreate? (not that you recreate as a verb; we established that earlier)

It does have a meaning--this is another case of "Don't Let Them Get Their Hands on Their Own Jargon."

Passive recreation refers to non-consumptive uses such as wildlife observation, walking, biking, and canoeing.

Passive recreation may be defined as a non-motorized activity that:

-Offers constructive, restorative, and pleasurable human benefits and fosters appreciation and understanding of open space and its purpose
-Is compatible with other passive recreation uses
-Does not significantly impact natural, cultural, scientific, or agricultural values
-Requires only minimal visitor facilities and services directly related to safety and minimizes passive recreation impacts

Definitions vary by locality. The following is an example of what falls under the definition of one community's passive recreation area:
6 conservation reservations
10 municipal parking lots
18 parks
75 traffic islands at 58 locations throughout the Town
3 walking paths or parkways
Police Station grounds
Town Forest

So there you go--a term that doesn't make any sense.

(don't start me on "carbon footprint"--that's another post completely)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Noun-ing Words

I love the verbing of words; I think it's fun.

(OK, OK, I won't do it "in print," but I still think it's fun.)

I haven't decided how I feel about the nouning of words. I don't love it when there already exists a decent and useful noun, but sometimes it's fun.

I hadn't spotted this, but Slate has: using the verb "fail" as a noun: "an epic fail" instead of "an epic failure."


What do you think?