Don’t Lose Your Plot!
Coherent and Cohesive
Claymore ‘Compost’ Harebottom
I was delighted (if slightly taken aback) to read a couple of quick-and-easy piecelettes of advice from my old sparring partner, Grammaticality ‘Culpability’ Brown (or ‘Can-He-Cope-ability?’ as we used to call him all those years ago!). He and I go way back of course, further than a wh- expression in a multi-clausal sentence is from its extraction site, as our former tutor, Gnome Clump-Of-Flowers-Beneath-The-Sky used to say (often in reference to how far Incapability’s landscaping efforts were from the intended outcome!). Anyway, I thought your words of wisdom (albeit unGrammatical here and there) were great, Brownster. Really great. Really. Really. And although I think it’s more than we can hope for that many people have actually read them or acted on them, they did inspire me to offer up some of my own successes.
Now, unlike Brown-and-Sticky, who’s been lucky enough to take several periods of ‘downtime’ over the years (often after a touch too much down-the-pub-time!), I’ve had to keep busy ever since college. But it was productive time and, as many of you know, I’ve created several Narrative Plots of considerable complexity, depth and insight—and have been lucky enough to pick up a few awards on the way. I’ve been lauded for the rich and fertile characterisation in my various Narrative Plots: realistic three-dimensional apple trees that leap out of the soil; for well paced Plots using well placed paving stones; and for consistently achieving balanced tone and texture through placing green-and-prickly gooseberries between smooth-and-rounded redcurrants and purple, knobbly blackberries. And I’ve never blown a raspberry in my life (unlike Granularity Brownstain who once ... well maybe I’d better not share too much!).
Now, while a Narrative Plot needs all these things and more, the ground, the soil, of a successful Narrative Plot consists of well tended, well watered worts and words. If these foundational elements are not well chosen right at the beginning, you’ll never create a believable crop of sweetcorn or a life-like depiction of a spring onion. So, without further ado, let’s see how best to select and tend your worts and words to construct a first order, logical Narrative Plot, the Claymore Harebottom way.
Peas pose problems! It’s not just a question of soil type, watering, and location in the Plot (don’t introduce them too early!). The most troublesome dynamic with peas is when you open the pod and the individual peas are in the wrong order. This can have a jarring effect on that whole section of your Plot leading to confusion and distraction. What’s to do? Well, with my patented pea-d piping technique, you can learn how to move any given pea from one end of the pod to another and either take an adjacent pea with it—or not, the latter option being known as peaposition stranding. This gives you freedom and control over the linear order of peas and in turn creates much greater flexibility in developing your Plot.
Dealing with adverse whether. Whether is really tricky. No ifs or buts, there’s no two ways about it, whether poses problems of many types for the Plotholder. If any of you thought you could constrain it by simply placing it in Spec;CP, think again. Whether may ostensibly come in only two forms, so on the face of it you’ve a 50% chance of getting the whether you want at random. But in actual usage, whether people use it rightly, wrongly, in line with standard usage, otherwise, or any mixture of the above, whether can often manifest itself in five or six different forms.
Watering the Claymore way! Some authorities (e.g. I P Howe) suggest watering should be a lazy little sprinkle that just goes everywhere. The risk there is that under the sweltering sun of reGenerative analysis, any water on the lexical leaves can cause burning and the resultant lexical leaf gaps tend to yield an incomprehensible plant. Alternatively, then, should one water only the root clauses? Well, this can result in infinitely embedded root recursion leading in turn to an unmanageable and unharvestable plant. The best way of course is the Claymore way: C(laymore)-command watering. Simply hold the modal can nodewise above the plant, that’s directly above and slightly to the left (in English plants) and let the water cascade down through the resulting structure. This lets the droplets get into the entire constituency of the plant for a thorough drenching.
Crop rotation goes back to medieval times: remember their quaint little three-field system which in conjunction with the three-tenor(s) system and the three mode system created a systemic functional agriculture that was the backbone of the vast material wealth and comfort of the European medieval period. Back in the present (continuous), Claymore discontinuities allow you to keep your whole Plot in working order. There’s a whole host of local and non-local discontinuous operations you can deploy. Beginners should start with simple inversion: simply switch round any two raised beds in your English auxiliary garden Plot on an annual basis. For a messy Japanese garden, just scramble the raised beds any old way. Or, for those gardening on Latin or Greek principle, don’t forget hyperbaton where you simply take a single leek out of the leek raised bed and stick in it with the beetroot. Discontinuities have other uses: if you can’t stand weeding under the raspberries anymore, just extrapose the whole lot into your rightward neighbour’s garden and job done!
Dealing with Binding Weed. Bind Weed gets everywhere, and if left unControlled, it can end up linking whole plants in your Plot to others. Coming in three varieties, the best way of dealing with Binding Weed is to reject the theoretical assumptions on which it is based. But if you’re not a dependency gardener (or even co-dependent) you may have to dig your Binding Weed and its theoretical assumptions up by hand—and believe me, this can take some time.
Speaking of Binding Weed, the Claymore How-Hoe is a great tool for dealing with all manners of weed-related Plot problems. Whether you’re wondering when to weed, where to weed, how often, why, from what cognitive perspective, with what degree of emotional orientation, or simply plain old how, the Claymore How-Hoe should see you through. A great adjunct to any Plotholder toolkit.
Finally today, bundles of parse-ley can be a real annoyance. It can be almost impossible to separate the different strands into analytically real elements. For me, the Latin gardeners of yore have never been bested in this. Their method of separating the subjectus (the flowery head of the parse-ley) from the predicatus (the stem of the plant) should result in two nice, neat piles, ready for use. Of course there are later methods including parse-ley → NP + VP, but for me subjectus and predicatus separation will see you through in most cases.
Well, Plotholders, I hope that’s helped you hold on to your Plots! Much more apposite advice than old Bombasticality, you may agree. It’s cheerio for now and I wish you fair whether and fairer gardening!