“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.” Stephen King
The beauty of grammar is that you get to use it. You can write everything perfectly and impress the shit out of people who care about that thing. You can enter grammar competitions and win a trophy for being the best grammar person ever. You can decorate your home in grammatically correct needlepoint and cross stitch. You can have your own website or blog where everything is grammatically perfect. You can get a job where people will pay you to fix their grammar and may even like that you do it and appreciate you for it. You can work with children who are learning grammar and help them to learn the right way to do it. But note that these will not be all children or all people, just those who actually want to learn how to do it right AND who think they can work with you because your approach is worth paying for.
But you don’t get to police the world or tell other people what they should or should not be writing. Continue reading
“We live in terror because persuasion is no longer possible…because man can no longer tap that part of his nature, as real as the historical part, which he recaptures in contemplating the beauty of nature and of human faces… We suffocate among people who think they are absolutely right, whether in their machines or their ideas. And for all those who can live only in an atmosphere of human dialogue… this silence is the end of the world.” – Albert Camus
I am not sure why men can’t listen to what you say to them. I mean, I make eye contact, I move my mouth really slowly just in case my hubby is actually deaf and has somehow managed to get through life reading lips and it is discovered one day and everyone goes “wow that is an amazing story” and they make one of those mini movies they send around to your email with music and fluffy kitties and people pretend they have something in their eye while they type in the names of 343 of their closest friends to send it on to so that they don’t die a horrible death, lose all their money or have a loved one die in a car crash. You don’t want to pass on having something incredible happen in exactly 34.3 minutes. I also worry about whether someone makes his life story into a movie … “Alan Keller” and he comes off looking like a complete saint and because every movie, no matter how short, needs a villian .. . They identify me. So I speak very slowly …. Continue reading
Years ago I was at a conference when the key note speaker came on stage. She was a professional and an impressive list of credentials. She began her talk by telling us how she knew we were all probably incapable of understanding what she was going to talk about but she would attempt to reach us. I am not sure how much attempt was in her talk because I immediately lost interest in what she had to say and the odd time I actually put together some of her words, I saw little evidence of her effort in that regard.
Just this week I have read half a dozen comments on social media where discussions side tracked from the subject to informing someone or some group that unless they learned to speak/write properly, they were not going to engage. Ironically, if some of these people ever got out of their own insulated little bubble, they might find numerous other people who have difficulty understanding them. Continue reading