I have started and erased three blog posts in the last ten minutes. Usually, on my drive home, I have tons of great ideas of what to write. Tonight, I got nothing. Nada. Zippo.
I’ve read a few other blogs that I’ve run across. In the process, I’ve discovered something that I’d long suspected. Most people are not very good writers. I’m not saying that they don’t have anything worthwhile to say (although some of them really don’t…), but that the mechanics of writing simply elude them. Didn’t we learn about nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions in school when we were kids? Hell, I remember learning them on School House Rock on Saturday mornings!
A noun is a person, place, or thing!
VERB! That’s what’s happening.
So we unpacked our adjectives. (He was a hairy bear. He was a scary bear. We beat a hasty retreat from his lair…).
Lolly, lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here!
Conjunction junction, what’s your function?
Have we become so preoccupied with standardized testing that we’ve stopped doing simple things like teaching kids how to diagram sentences? Are spelling bees just for geeks with ridiculously high IQs? Have we lost the details that made learning an art and teaching a creative profession? Has the age of emoticons and texting abbreviations (OMG, BTW, IMHO, ROFLMFAO, LOL) led us to give up correct spelling, proper sentence structure, and good grammar? We don’t write real letters anymore. Why should we? We have email. We don’t correspond. We Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, and Snap Chat. All of the skills we needed to communicate effectively have gone out the window and have been replaced with crap that kinda looks like how we talk (folks don’t do that very well either…).
So, on an evening when I await the return of my husband after two consecutive weeks of travel, and my dogs are barking their heads off to go for a walk, I have a simple request. People, please be pickier about what you write and how you write it. Dot your i’s, cross your t’s, and use your Oxford commas. Take pride in what you write and remember that it represents you out in the world. It’s easy to be mistaken for stupid when your writing skills are lacking. Don’t misrepresent yourself and your intelligence.
Of course, now I’m paranoid about my own writing. Physician, heal thyself…