This is not a typo. A writer’s tool is their language. His or hers. Mine in any case. It won’t surprise you that I am paying very close attention to language, written and spoken. Whilst grammar used to be something that I tried to get right as a matter of principle, I have relaxed somewhat. Rules are there to be bent, if not broken.
I read and pay attention. I indiscreetly read what other people write on their screens whilst on an airplane. A woman, who is sitting across the aisle, is preparing reports and emails. She’s fairly high strung, if you ask me.
She keeps saying “please could you…” in her emails, which doesn’t sound right to me. Pushy and almost rude. The “please” should follow at the end, not lead.
If you must know, for the first time in my life I have ordered alcohol on a plane. Gin and tonic. My day job and this business trip to Athens have driven me to the drink. Also, we are an hour and ten minutes late. I am not impressed.
This, of course, is another reason I decided to take my laptop out and write. Firstly, the use of this woman’s “please” irritated me. Secondly, tardiness.
I hate tardiness more than anything else. I’ve been wondering, if I am not at least mildly OCD after all. Sometimes I do things somewhat compulsively without even thinking about them, just because I believe they should be that way and not any other way.
If so, I’m sure it’s not so bad. I tend to ask people to tell me, if they find something I keep doing annoying.
Be that as it may, back to language. I can be quite terrible when it comes to correcting people. I bite my tongue when it comes to their spelling. Sometimes I correct mistakes on autopilot. People get offended, without me meaning to offend anybody.
If you ask me, people tend to be too precious as well, though. I make mistakes as well, which is why I re-read everything. But some things slip. I am not claiming to get it right all the time, which annoys people even more.
I don’t know how many times I could’ve been offended on this trip, but most of the time I just laughed like everybody else. I felt a twinge once or twice, I am human, you know. But I know that nobody tried to deliberately offend me, so I can take it in stride and get over my bloody self.
It’s too in the day late for me to not get distracted by my own thoughts. Forgive me.I am exhausted as well.
I believe that there is a proper use of language and that you can make it do whatever you like and get some incredible results.
One sentence, perfectly placed, can have the same effect as a beautiful image. One word placed in an irritating spot can ruin the tone of an entire email, regardless of what you meant to say and if you consider it to be rude or not.
Language is a tool, it is of prime importance. As a species we wouldn’t be where we are, if it weren’t for our language(s).
I think it’s a good idea and try to get it right. It makes life a lot easier. People may also consider your requests, if you don’t sound like a pushy you-know-what.
And on that note, one more thought. I can swear like a sailor. It’s what I’ve been told and I certainly use the F-word way too much. But I don’t like to be crude and I most certainly try to avoid a certain language in writing.
Yes, I will swear in my writing, because my spoken language contains swear words, denying myself a little rant every now and then would be inhuman. But there seems to be a limit of how far I would go.
I suppose, sometimes I find that there’s just not need for it and I would prefer to go with Ellen Degeneres’ motto of: be kind to one another. Not using swear words is actually a lot harder than just letting rip.
If I find that I need to let it out, though, in order to prevent myself getting a stomach ulcer or premature gray hair, I will do so. I may just tone it down, though and go with:
Darn it to heck