The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

In early June 1912, a cataclysmic explosion occurred in a remote area of Alaska, about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage. The explosion was so massive that its effects were felt in places as far away from the explosion as Washington D.C., as high-altitude haze robbed the northern temperate zone of about 10% of the Sun’s heat during the summer of that year. This event was due to the eruption of the Novarupta and Mount Katmai volcanoes. The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, now part of the Katmai National Park and Preserve, derives its name from the myriad fumaroles (fissures spouting smoke, gas, and steam) that developed in the valley floor shortly after the eruption. The uninhabited site of the eruption was not found until four years later, when Robert F. Griggs, who explored the volcano’s aftermath for the National Geographic Society in 1916, gave the valley its name, saying that “the whole valley as far as the eye could reach was full of hundreds, no thousands—literally, tens of thousands—of smokes curling up from its fissured floor.” Here is a description of the scene and the events surrounding the eruption, transcribed in Anniversary Gregg by yours truly.

Attachment: the-valley-of-10000-smokes.pdf

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  1. I should always read in full your notes at the start of your examples — it would save me time puzzling over the names of places.

    I found some problems I could not guess at:
    (1) p2c1l18: first form (before "there-would-be")
    (2) p5c1l17: I'm not sure of the third form. ("that had been ? but not seeded")
    (3) p6c1l10: "danger of ? eruptions"
    (4) p6c2l7:  what is the first form?

    and some uncertainties:
    (5) p4c2l3:  is the first form "spectacle"? (My dictionary differed.)
    (6) p4c2l16: is it "THE" heavy ash"?
    (7) p6c1l10: I presume the first form is "Hence"
    (8) p6c2l17: is it "that THEY scarcely "?

    Also a couple of points raised by reading this article.
    (a) When there are repeated words (e.g. p3c1l2 "so many many") I wonder if any writers used some quick mark to indicate it.
    (b) The dash or the dot inside a large circle distinguishes the different diphthongs.  But the difference in sound is often a bit vague.  I'm afraid I just use the dot.  And now that my writing has got smaller, a dash would be difficult to fit!

    Coincidentally I started reading your Simplified article on History which I found a little awkward to read now that I know a lot of Anniversary, and this made me, for some reason, take the Diamond Jubilee book from my shelf and go through it (I had only browsed it previously).  I was surprised how close it was to Simplified.  I liked the book's production, and that (or so I thought at first) it did not emphasise commas all over the place.  But was a bit appalled that the brief form for suggest used a G!!  And how wonderful, after my point (b) above, that they did not distinguish with a dash in a large circle.

    Despite my comment on the comma, in a non-shorthand context the book is really very good at teaching lots of points of English which are pertinent to me.  It gives many spelling tips which have confused me.  And the explanations of commas are really good and now I know what a split infinitive is!

    But it reminded me that in all books it would have been good to emphasise why some joinings are done the way they are when first encountered (e.g the right s in decide, or the outside curve in named).

    1. Here you go:

      (1) p2c1l18: "As a matter of fact"
      (2) p5c1l17: "cultivated"
      (3) p6c1l10: "of another" (the dot was misplaced)
      (4) p6c2l7:  "afforded"
      (5) p4c2l3:  "experience"

      I corrected the other entries.

      The dash inside the circle was eliminated in Simplified because the sound is virtually identical. I don't see an issue not using it.

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