Posts Tagged ‘Writing’
Much has happened in my life during the last two years making it seem even longer to me. Absorbed with changes, I have let things slide. So, like the door of the old Naramachi house, it is time to open and let some sunlight in and dust out.
This post was originally written on September 24, 2007. Since this was the week I decided to learn to write and his lordship was released on bail I decided to edit and re-post it here:
Regardless of how one feels about charges and verdict against Conrad Black, his mastery of the English language can not be disputed. Ian Brown of the Globe and Mail interviewed Lord Black in the spring of 2007. I found Black’s comments on vocabulary noteworthy and quote them here.
A lot of linguists say we don’t need to teach standard or normative vocabulary because there’s no such thing – everyone learns the words they need for the circles they inhabit. Standard vocabulary, to these people, is undemocratic. Any opinion?
People should be encouraged to expand and use their vocabularies in unpretentious ways, to arm them as well as possible to communicate and to understand their language as well as possible.
The alternative view is just part of the vulgarization and mediocritization of everything and the triumph of a few trendy cultural charlatans at the head of a population of Philistines. Any such trend should be resisted.
I would like to learn to write well; to write articles and essays that people like reading. I have been thinking of this since late March, and practised by writing daily to Jason in April. It seems I had made the right beginning in what will be a very long undertaking.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” These were the first words I read upon opening On Writing by Stephen King in a bookshop last week. It is something I have always implicitly known, (I grew up in a very literary household,) but seeing it stated so clearly was all I required to take a copy to the cashier followed by the first subway train home to start reading.
King described his recovery from a 1999 car accident in an essay. I remember his words conveyed not only the accident, but the pain and emotions he was still feeling many months later. The essay was not long, but it certainly was powerful. So, that’s how I want to write: clearly, sparsely and interestingly.