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Gooney Fan

October 2019 Airfix Model World

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Hello.

 

I recommend the article in this edition on modelling the new Airfix 'Banana' jet.

 

This makes me want to build it more than once.

 

Gooney Fan

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I will wait until November when this is on the shelves at the local newsagents.

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I flick through copies on rare occasions to see if there is something I like BUT what puts me off the mag is the way some build reviews are always written in past tense. They talk about "...this part was...."...  "...the fit was...." and so on when the kit being reviewed hasn't even hit the shelves...!

I find it hard and off putting trying to read them.

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IIRC it is Airfix Modelworld policy to have articles written in that style (Second Person?)

 

ie NOT 'First Person'.......

 

So instead of writing " I stuck part A to part B" you have to write "Part A was stuck to part B"

 

Ken

Edited by Flankerman

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I also don't like the Second person style of the magazine. When I am reading the magazine the writer is talking to me not a larger audience. 

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First person: I stuck part A to part B.

Second person: Part A was stuck to part B.

Third person: The modeller stuck part A to part B.

Fourth person: Someone I knew who was a modeller stuck part A to part B.

Fifth person: A bloke I met down the pub told me a fella that was friends with a modeller once told him that someone stuck part A to part B.

Sixth person:  Nah, I'm good.

 

Have I got that right? :clown:

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Lots of confusion here!

 

Second person: you stick part a to part b

Passive voice: part a is stuck to part b

Past passive: part a was stuck to part b

 

I can explain further after class if required ;)

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Some 20-odd years ago (eek!) when I was teaching English to Opel automotive engineers, I used to soften the blow of learning passives by using Kinder eggs. The final free exercise of the session would begin with eating the egg (very useful in afternoon sessions for ameliorating the postprandial slump) and then assembling whatever was inside and describing the manner in which to do it...

Of course, it was necessary to have a few more eggs than students in the event that the egg content was a solid figure or something that did not readily lend itself to assembly. And at the end of the session, the finished products were taken away by those who had kids of a suitable age to enjoy them.

It's funny to think about it now, but I was actually given a monthly Kinder egg budget by the school where I worked!

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3 hours ago, Silver Fox said:

I also don't like the Second person style of the magazine. When I am reading the magazine the writer is talking to me not a larger audience. 

House style I believe , seem to recall comment at the time it was launched setting out their requirements.

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45 minutes ago, Des said:

House style I believe , seem to recall comment at the time it was launched setting out their requirements.

Fully understand that, just don't like it.

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Passive voice: I couldn't be bothered to build this as there was a lot of effort involved in getting it out of the box, and.... well, y'know. Meh... :shrug: You go right ahead if you want though - I'm going for a nap. :tired:

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43 minutes ago, Mike said:

Passive voice: I couldn't be bothered to build this

No, see me after class! :)

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Worse for me is the habit of some writers of starting each sentence with "Then I..." 

 

"Then I stuck the wings together. Then I glued the wings to the fuselage. Then I....Then I.... Then I......"

 

Like fingernails on a blackboard to me! 

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10 hours ago, Paul Bradley said:

Worse for me is the habit of some writers of starting each sentence with "Then I..." 

...then I went back and checked every review I've ever written whilst crying profusely 😭

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Take heart the "so" word hasn't crept into magazine articles the way it has in conversation's especially TV interviews! So here we have Airfix's

latest offering,so I opened the box and was confronted by six sprues in light gray plastic so I opened the bag and set to work........................

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30 minutes ago, stevej60 said:

Take heart the "so" word hasn't crept into magazine articles the way it has in conversation's especially TV interviews! So here we have Airfix's

latest offering,so I opened the box and was confronted by six sprues in light gray plastic so I opened the bag and set to work........................

So, that's bad, right?  Then I'd better stop doing it, Yo. ^_^

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Wow. Looks nice. 

I can't believe the price of this kit - ~£25 for a 1/72 model. That's more than the 1/48 variants were costing, last time I looked. Granted they take  a bit of work, but you do end up with a fine and bulky model eventually. I still have a couple of examples of the previous 1/72 issue, which I thought was a fair representation of a Buccaneer and could be made into a really fine kit with a bit of work.

 

Is that the point - 'with a bit of work'?  Is it that folk prefer to buy something easy to stick together even if the price is a bit staggering, or what?

 

As for the article style, I thought passive was the norm for formal reports and recommendations - as Steve Coombs said, normal habit for engineering. For a magazine article, whatever the editor prefers, providing it is consistent and appropriate for the purpose. Since I read articles to find what the person involved thought about the kit and what he/she found good bad or difficult, I'm happy with first person.  It's the  random spelling errors or mis-uses of words, poor syntax and occasional total howlers of either fact or composition that really detract from magazine enjoyment. (To be fair, nowadays  the composition hiccups may not be  something the Editor has much, if any, control  over since that work often occurs remotely) 

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2 hours ago, Mike said:

So, that's bad, right?  Then I'd better stop doing it, Yo. ^_^

So, yeah, that's, like, bad. 

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Just now, Paul Bradley said:

So, yeah, that's, like, bad. 

I can't even right now.

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OMG!

 

 

I should try writing an article with all the common cliches, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.....

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30 minutes ago, Paul Bradley said:

OMG!

 

 

I should try writing an article with all the common cliches, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.....

I thought I did? :hmmm:

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On 9/27/2019 at 4:52 PM, Flankerman said:

IIRC it is Airfix Modelworld policy to have articles written in that style (Second Person?)

...I find it hugely annoying. It seems like an attempt to hark back to the days of writing up chemistry practicals! The one that gets me every time is "the kit was presented in a large end-opening box" or "the parts for the tracks were to be found across several sprues". That's not style, that's just WRONG (and I speak as a former magazine editor myself). If you or I are going to find the same thing when we open our boxes tomorrow, then the kit IS moulded in pale blue-grey plastic. I've written for AMW myself, and contorting the build review into their strangled syntax is the biggest pain of all... much worse than building it or writing about it. That said, and I don't quite know how they do it, but some of the authors seem to glide around the house style so it doesn't grate as much as others -- Jen Wright's pretty good at it, for example.

 

best,

M.

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On 9/27/2019 at 5:06 PM, Mike said:

First person: I stuck part A to part B.

Second person: Part A was stuck to part B.

Third person: The modeller stuck part A to part B.

Fourth person: Someone I knew who was a modeller stuck part A to part B.

Fifth person: A bloke I met down the pub told me a fella that was friends with a modeller once told him that someone stuck part A to part B.

Sixth person:  Nah, I'm good.

 

Have I got that right? :clown:

I like to think I am the Sixth Person, but only in my dreams.  I am much more likely to be the Fifth Person, well in to my nth pint...

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Writing style? Welcome to my world.

I work for a major software firm as a translator, demon editor, and occasional technical author.

Half the effort is to consider who will read your text. Is it a system administrator? OK, be direct and technical, this person can cope (or ought to be able to!). Is it going to be the inexperienced user who suddenly gets lumbered with the department's monthly timesheets? Address the poor beggar directly and guide him or her through the process. Make a sharp distinction between if and when - one is an option, the other is not. Use active voice for users, passive for system/automatic activities. Check the text for ambiguities. For example, "supplying customizable software to end users" might frighten customers away rather than reassure them! And have pity on the translators who are going to put these words into 50 or so other languages for local markets worldwide.

But back to the magazine. I concur with cmatthewbacon that the likes of "the kit was presented in a large end-opening box" or "the parts for the tracks were to be found across several sprues" are unnecessary. The kit comes in a large end-opening box (each and every time) and the parts for the tracks were on several sprues (I never lost them so there is no need to find them).

Distinguish between reports and instructions. If you're telling people what you did, first person and appropriate past tenses are fine. If you're telling someone what to do, second person and appropriate present tenses do the job nicely.

As a presenter at an IATEFL conference at Warwick University 30 years ago said: "The passive voice is rarely used in normal discourse". Oh, how we laughed.

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