THE "DON'T QUIT" POEM & POSITIVE GRAMMAR
By Hal Womack 3-dan
For some years I have been campaigning for systematically replacing negative grammar with positive. The former means simply any use of the basic negative terms "no, not, never" or of their close variations or composite contractions. The rationale for this proposed reform I will leave for another occasion. Yesterday (Friday 18 May) on the stage at the Dolphin Club* in San Francisco de Alta California at a moving & well-organized memorial service for my friend Peter Butler (b. 1931), an outstanding athlete and gentleman, his six charming grandchildren read their family's traditional poem "Don't Quit", an exhortation in verse apparently about a century old by an anonymous author. * http://www.dolphinclub.org /
Having in the past already made bold publicly to improve, at least according to my taste, certain lyrics even of the great Percy Bysshe Shelley, I promptly undertook to fashion a grammatically positive "pogra" for short version of the work at hand, the original being given afterwards for purposes of comparison:


Quit? Spit!
(Pogra var. by Hal Womack 3-dan, 19 May 2007)
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but quit? You spit!
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Why give up, though the pace seems slow,
When you might succeed with another blow?
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to faint and faltering man.
Sad the struggler who has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup
But learned too late, when night slipped down,
How close he had come to the golden crown!
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
Can you ever tell how close you are?
Joy may be near tho' seeming yet afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
When things seem worst, must you quit or show grit?


{The original version}
"Don't Quit!"
by anonymous
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
1 2 3
== {The original version} "Don't Quit!" by anonymous When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you're ... seems afar; So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit; It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Since when is Edgar A. Guest anonymous, you *** moron?
== {The original version} "Don't Quit!" by anonymous When things ... hit; It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Since when is Edgar A. Guest anonymous, you *** moron?- Hide quoted text - - Show quoted text -

Awww... Little Gamble is having another hissy-fit again...

http://skywriter.diaryland.com/070519 95.html
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THE "DON'T QUIT" POEM & POSITIVE GRAMMAR By Hal Womack 3-dan For some years I have been campaigning for systematically ... or of their close variations or composite contractions. The rationale for this proposed reform I will leave for another occasion.

Would that be because it's totally inexplicable?
Flying Tortoise
... who knows that not being unhappy is not the same thing as being happy!
Since when is Edgar A. Guest anonymous, you *** moron?- Hide quoted text - - Show quoted text -

Awww... Little Gamble is having another hissy-fit again... http://skywriter.diaryland.com/070519 95.html

Awww... Little chuckles comes running for the attention again...

(m+
~/:o) >
I do not "negotiate" for half my baby back, Solomon. http://scrawlmark.org
THE "DON'T QUIT" POEM & POSITIVE GRAMMAR By Hal Womack ... for this proposed reform I will leave for another occasion.

Would that be because it's totally inexplicable? Flying Tortoise

It's perfectly explicable. It's a muddled version of the wisdom expressed in the koan: "Don't think of an elephant."
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For some years I have been campaigning for systematically replacing negative grammar with positive. The former means simply any use of the basic negative terms "no, not, never" or of their close variations or composite contractions.

Whatever for?
I mean, sure, everyone needs a hobby, and maybe collecting stamps was just too boring, but what is the use of trying to replace negations with other ways of putting it?
Apart form the fact that I highly doubt that the community of speakers will be affected by it?
THE "DON'T QUIT" POEM & POSITIVE GRAMMAR By Hal Womack 3-dan For some years I have been campaigning for systematically ... you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest! if you must; but quit? You spit!

I think you are an idi-it.
The whole point of removing negatives (like Guest's phrase, "do not quit"), is to remove hindering words and thoughts (like "quit"). (One cannot think "Do not quit" means thinking "quit"). But replacing that line with "quit? You spit!", means still thinking "quit"; so you haven't done anything to improve the poem in the first place.

If you must tinker with Mr. Guest's poem, then the best substitute line would be:
"Rest! if you must, but keep at it."
snip
Life is queer with its twists and turns, As everyone of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about ... afar; So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit; When things seem worst, must you quit or show grit?

"When things seem worst, just keep at it.
For some years I have been campaigning for systematically replacing negative grammar with positive.

Now there's someone with far too much time on his hands.

GFH
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