When I started “blogging” I spent a lot of time checking out different sites. I wanted to see what people were up to. I found that there are a lot of very funny people out there and just as many good writers. Apparently making a “list” is a great way to get people to read your words. People like lists, DIY projects and recipes. I wrote about lists a few months ago in regards to having to name my Top 10 favorite albums.
Being nailed down like that just isn’t fair because my favorite things 6 months ago could be different today. Call me fickle but unless threatened I’m never going to be narrowed down like that. Why do we do that to each other anyway? Maybe people think that at some point someone is going to force them to choose or die? Some mythic beast will demand you tell them your favorite Bob Marley song? I would choke.
My favorite food used to be linguine with Bolognese sauce. Now that I am allergic (so pathetic) to tomatoes (deadly nightshade) I have to find a new favorite because it’s just too upsetting not being able to eat what I love. Next! But how do I move on from Bolognese? What am I supposed to tell you? Ooh smoked salmon is my favorite! Yuck. Yeah I know, I know, we are supposed to love salmon. You can have mine or I will put it in the flower arrangement.
Recently I was thinking about favorite words. I tend to sprinkle my sentences with words nobody uses anymore.
Bivouac, Ballyhooed, Shenanigans, Perchance, Hodad
Lately I’ve read a few books that are a couple of hundred years old and I must say the language was once so pretty. I wish I had a command of the English language but I don’t. I may understand it but can’t speak it. I still use words like bitchen, gnarly and killer…
There was a time I used those words intentionally just to upset my friends from New York, but then I found it was just easier to use those words with some of the people I grew up with because their command of the English language was worse than mine.
I can’t stand it when people use highfalutin (another good one) words to describe something simple – but some people just don’t know any better; while others do it just to make you feel dumb.
When is it appropriate to correct someone’s use of a word when used incorrectly? I had a good friend that was a yoga instructor and he used inappropriate words to describe body postures all the time. It made me uncomfortable because I was never sure if he was just stoned or didn’t know any better.
I have another friend who has no college education but always asks what something means if she does not know the word. Now that’s admirable. What about the people you know are highly educated so you defer to them only to find out you were right and they were wrong about the use of a word?
My mother is an incurable grammarian. It’s incredibly annoying and sometimes funny. She has corrected her 81-year-old brother for so long that he is confused on his answers and replies in as many ways he can come up with. “I’m going to lay/lie down now.”
Naming my stuffed animal Rufkis Neptune has a great literary quality to it if you ask me. I was a small child but somehow anglicized my dog while throwing in a planet and/or a water God in its naming. Today I’ve burned so many brain cells over the years with different chemicals used in art that I never know when my knowledge of something will kick in.
One day I will be able to tell you the Sanskrit name for a yoga posture and the next day my mind will be a blank. Part of it is insecurity and then there is also a high possibility my brain is fried on allergy meds. My brain is a goner.
Here we are back at memory. If I read enough of the same author I pick up on the use of certain words and I try to incorporate them into my every day life. If I do not read enough, I’m back to beach lingo. There is nothing wrong with beach lingo but it just isn’t descriptive enough – which is the true joy of language. Being able to describe something in a way that can create an image for all to enjoy is an art form.
Scott Wannberg was a story-teller not just a poet. Maybe he won’t resonate with you because you enjoy another form of word play. Let’s face it, poetry readings can be as painful as shopping in Ross or Target. You have to really hack your way through some bad stuff to find that jewel. Yes, I compared poetry to shopping.
If Scott doesn’t speak your language I will bet that there is someone out there who does. It is up to you to find the voice that speaks to your heart, or use your own to open doors for others.
So says Walter.
The 3 Things
three things are needed.
a space big enough to die in privacy
someone’s phone number other than my own
the feeling that no matter how many muscles i make
Ouija Madness Press
- It’s all English – isn’t it? (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)
- Few [very few] human words (dimitriseleas.wordpress.com)
- Final Analysis of The Adventure of English (kenneyediting.wordpress.com)
- All Hail King of the Words (badlandsbadley.wordpress.com)
- A Rose By Any Other Name… (thenewprint.com)
- Language (dragonintuitive.com)
Hi there. I found your blog because of a pingback to one of my posts. And having read your piece I then went back to mine and saw that I had used lie instead of lay.
Good to know I’m not the only one who struggles with the lie/lay thing. Last year I corrected my mother and she was so stunned we both burst out in hysterical laughter. Score 1 for my team.
Scott Lombard said:
always lie, if the lay is bad… one will feel better.
So what you are saying is that if the lay was bad I should lie?
Thanks for the connection to my blog. I enjoyed reading yours – especially the little vignettes about your mother. I was an incurable grammarian myself while I was still teaching English – now I’m a bit more laid back, though some grammatical mistakes still make me cringe inside. And I think my ideas of “correct grammar” are starting to morph a little bit, as I get older and read more stuff on language. As a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, I’ve long held the theory that most change is bad; now I’m learning that if you’re not changing, you’re probably dead, in one sense or another. Language too needs to change or die, like Classical Latin. Sorry, getting philosophical here. Thanks again, and I’ll be back!
Language is ever changing and although it irritates me I have to admit that it always will and is necessary. The changes reflect our society…which can be quite ugly. But yes we must bend like a reed in the wind or we will break! Thank you for reading!
… with regard to this piece… something heading your way via the USPS
I like the sound of that! Support the USPS!
Scott Lombard said:
lie only if you want to get laid again.
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