Our Style Sheet

Add your critique to Our Style Sheet. Catty comments welcome.

  01 February 02: Newspapers have 'em, and so do book publishers.

    And we do, too.

    A style sheet.

    You got here by hyperlink, probably, and you landed in the middle of this project, too.

    Our is an entry in Our Style Sheet, because we (another entry) use our in different ways. Here, our includes you, because we invite you to critique Our Style Sheet. Emailed comments will be posted along with the Style Sheet entries in question

    Our Style Sheet addresses not only grammar and usage but also design/layout. Anything is possible.

  • Ampersands are interesting; so is P22, a Buffalo font design house. They and we are in the same Zip Code. Cool, eh?
  • Buffalonya [buf • fa • lon • ya] rhymes with ya (that variant spelling of you that appears in the high school yearbook phrase love ya!!! NB: ya does not appear in the other high school yearbook phrase here's hoping that all yr ups and downs happen in bed!!!). Buffalonya is my own coined word to refer to both Buffalo and its region, from Erie, PA, to Rochester, NY, and from Lake Ontario to the Southern Tier -- the western section of Western New York. The intended connotation is that our region is a fun and whimsical blip on the global screen.

  • You-all will be preferred as a reference to two or more persons. We will avoid such alternatives as y'all, youse, y'uns, mostly because I don't know how to spell them.   

  • Us refers to my wife and I, general partners in Herkimer & Perkins.

  • Our is like us.
Hyper-Hyper-Text Definitions

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  Of all the on-line dictionaries out there, this has to be the only fun one. It's called the Exploding Dictionary. Clicking on the Explode button will open a new window.


  • I refers to me, not her (my wife).
  • Me refers to the webmaster (see I above).
  • We is like Us.
  • Website will be one word, not two.  

  • Same goes for webpage: Solid.
  • Body type is 14 pt. Georgia, a webized variant of Time New Roman. Caption type is 12 pt. Verdana, a webized version of Ariel. Copyright line at the bottom of each page is 8 pt. bold Times New Roman, centered. Navigation aids at the bottom of each page are 10 pt. bold, blue Ariel. Mailto: is 10 pt. Times New Roman bold.
  • Maximum table width is 749 pixels.
  • Boatbuilding, not boat building. My spell checker disagrees. My reason: words that start as phrases go solid over time. Examples: webpage, website. Wording mine; idea borrowed from some usage book that I read.

  • Jonboat, not johnboat, in honor of the way I spell my first name -- Jon. Both jonboats and johnboats are mentioned many times on the Internet (though not at all in Webster's II).

  • Workership, not workmanship, because some of my best friends are women.
  • cq is a copy editing notation that means that's the way it came to me; leave it that way; I checked with the writer. cf sic. I don't know what cq stands for, if anything. No one does.
  • They as a second reference to a singular noun such as one referring to a company or other group of persons will be acceptable. I know better, but it ( I mean they) works for me.
  • Our Skipper, Miss Sparkie -- also know as She Who Must Be Obeyed. This cute old girl is going on 13 years old.


    Free wallpaper (and other use of our copyrighted material). This raises an interesting point or three.
         * Point No. 1: You can use any image on our website for wallpaper, if it is for your own personal use, or to share with friends. All you need do is right click on an image and save it to your hard drive. Then enjoy. See links below to four places where you will find images of Miss Sparkie for wallpapering. Same goes for our text: You may copy text from our website for your personal use (such as printing out a long narrative to read later in bed; I do this myself because I don't like reading from the screen). You cannot reproduce our text in any form, either in print or on a website, without prior consent, which Miss Sparkie is likely to grant, but you gotta ask first.
         * Point No. 2: If you stand to benefit financially in any way from the use of our images or text, which are all copyrighted, you must ask our permission, by emailing the webmaster. I'm a fairly congenial guy, but I can become a Grumpy Old Guy, too, especially if someone is misusing what is mine. That said, I am eager to share. First get my permission, by sending me email to I will ask, if I grant you permission, is that you include a link to my website and email me when it is in place, if you use my images or words on your website, for profit or not.
         * Point No. 3: Church folk are programmed at visceral levels to expect three points any time the pastor clears his throat and she begins to speak. Happy to oblige.
        * Free wallpaper of Miss Sparkie for personal use can be found here. I prefer an image that doesn't fill the screen, to make loading and booting quicker. If you want to fill the screen, play around with a graphics program. Crop then enlarge our image until it achieves the needed dimensions for your monitor.

  • Penultimate (AKA penult.) means next to last. Honest. Frequently misused, usually by local talent and/or sports announcers, as a synonym for ultimate. It's a wonder that we didn't end up with Penultimate Frisbee.

  • In the Garden has to be the most-requested hymn at nursing home worship services everywhere. [Click on the link and scroll down to In the Garden for a midi file.]

  • Dates that begin log entries will appear in a style that all can understand, eg., 04 April 02.

  • Sparky is how you spell the famous baseball coach's name; Sparkie is how we spell the name of our cat named after the famous baseball coach. Why the difference in spelling? Stupidity, madam, pure stupitidy. That was Dr. Samuel Johnson's reply to a woman who took him to task for an erroneous definition in his dictionary. Which reminds me of Sir Winston Churchill's reply to a woman who accosted him at an evening event by saying, Sir! You are drunk. His reply: And you, madam, are ugly. And tomorrow I will be sober, and you will still be ugly. I've always liked the vicious ones. Something from Mark Twain would round out this entry nicely, but none comes to mind. The up-side here is that I don't check my remembered quotes with Bartlett's Familiar Quotations; the down-side is that I may have a word wrong here or there. I'm over that, though; hope you are, too.

  • ... . I'm a traditionalist concerning punctuation. Elipses at the end of a complete sentence still needs a period. And no spaces except the one between the three and the one period.
  • The Reverend and I on the Erie Canal in 2002 -- self-portrait with glasses and smiles.


    The Reverend: My wife is the Reverend; I'm the Pastor. It all started when I was at national training for church-based community organizing. I noticed that all the training organizers addressed all the ministers as Pastor or Reverend, so I started doing the same with my wife when I wanted to tease her. Excuse me, Reverend, always gets her attention when I want to get a word in edgewise.
  • Kick Me (08 September 02): Social game that Eric Berne, my hero, identified in his book Games People Play. Basically a deputy kicked my butt on the water, and I'm kicking his on my website, thereby illustrating Berne's basic principle that social games are a way people avoid intimacy.
  • 23 September 02: I've decided to date most of my entries, because as the website approaches the ripe old age of 1 year old (1 February 02) there are things that I have written that I no longer plan to follow through on or have otherwise changed my mind about. Since this website is a snapshot of my life with boats, dating entries is making a lot of sense to me.
  • 07 January 02: Logs, blogs, weblogs ... online journals -- at Herkimer & Perkins, we do all of 'em. Boatbuilders on the internet usually label their dated entries, stacked from the earliest entry on the top to the latest entry on the bottom, logs. Other residents in other corners of the Internet have been blogging for a few years. Weblogs? Same as blogs, but not as lettered -- weblogs ... if you follow my drift. The noun weblog has become the assertion we blog. And finally the elder phrase of the group -- online journal. My monthly Letters to My Friends are written in the spirit of an online journal. My brother-in-law's website is an example of an online journal, too. Bloggers have uniformly clean and innovative website designs, and these pages take font-based design to new heights of excellence.
        Other links:
        * my favorite blogs: (rebecca's pocket AKA what's in rebecca's pocket?) and, the blog of Doc Searls, who is senior editor of Linux Journal, one of the four authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto, and the guy who gets the credit for the phrase tht inspired my online journal entry Churches Are Conversations (his phrase is that markets are conversations). Doc writes a monthly column for Linux Journal called Linux for Suits. The writing and the ideas are uniformly high and mighty. Rebecca Blood has written a fine book about blogs, The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog. This book almost rivals Strunk and White's Elements of Style in eloquence and utility.
        * And in no particular order, here is a link to one of my favorite boatbuilding log websites, I like the boat he built, a canalboat called the Escargot, and I like the personal way he approaches his log. Check out his entire site if you can, but don't miss the entry titled Another Boat? ... New Diary Entry 1.
  • 18 January 03: Note the difference in spelling from New York's village of Allegany on the Allegheny River, which joins the Monongahela River at the Point in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, to create the Three Rivers -- the third being the Ohio.
  • 26 January 03: <VBG> stands for Very Big Grin in Chat-Speak... . (I made up Chat-Speak.)
  • 27 January 03: In Buffalo, we throw the term Lake Effect around like so many snowballs. Time to track its meaning and derivation, if possible. Here is a textbook definition (that is actually worth reading). It may be harder to find the roots of the term, but let's try. Still looking 15 minutes later with little success, but here is another text book-type link of interest. Back in a while. Back. I feel, gentle reader, like a dog who has suddenly grown a tail and can't quit whipping around to try and bite it. I'll put the derivation of Lake Effect on my list of things to find.
  • 27 January 03: SOB. My mama taught me that that referred to the male offspring of a female dog. That's my story; I'm sticking to it.
  • 14 March 03: O-signs are good; Q-signs are not so good. I learned this while hanging around hospitals during seminary. If you enter the room of a hospital patient who seems to be sleeping, an O-sign indicates life and sleep; a Q-sign indicates the Big Sleep. On second thought, this may not be a good name for a boat ... .
  • No. 2 Lock and Dam.


    30 April 03: I got a friendly email a while back from a man who corrected me on the lock number here. I had said it was Lock 3; he correctly said it was No. 2 Lock and Dam. His emal said, "I grew up in Aspinwall and that is actually the number two lock & dam at Aspinwall. The next dam you encounter on the system is The Emsworth Lock & Dam approximately 10 miles downstream on the Ohio. I live a mile away from Emsworth and we can hear the calliope from The Delta Queen and her sisters on summer evenings as they pass through the locks." It's a pleasure to get such an assist. Once when I was writing book reviews for the newspaper that I worked for, I said in passing that Cornwall was in the north of England (which it ain't). I got the nastiest note I've ever gotten, hands down, railing about how I could be so absolutely stupid as to say such a thing, and it got worse from there. Seems the writer was born there ... .
  • 25 September 03: When I say home store, I am usually referring to the Home Depot, king of the hardware mountain in Buffalo, NY, my home. I hope that soon I will be referring to Lowe's, instead, a competitor that is coming to town soon. I prefer to say home store, because it would be a bargeload of free advertising to say Home Depot every time I turn around here. I actually like the Home Depot in Niagara Falls ... .
  • 19 January 03: Friends who live in the Finger Lakes region, not too far away from Nunda, tell me that you say the place name as NUN-day, not NUN-dah. Who knew?
  • 04 February 04: The font in the Colophon logo is P22 Escher Hand, a font designed in Buffalo, New York, by P22 Type Foundry.

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