Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Apology Hijacked by a Written Aamiya Hater

I talked earlier about the holy trinity of topics not to be discussed in blogging; money stress, weight issues, and your "intimate" relationship. Actually I was lying about two of these. Conflict, one of the main driving forces of fiction, also drives true-life blogs (the other factor that keeps me reading is voice; also like good fiction). I find that blogs wherein the author has some sort of unresolved conflict/life developments/etc draw me in because I want to know what will happen next, and because they are real people I care more far than I do about fictional characters. For one thing, you can't pray for fictional people; and if you did, I don't think it would help their plights much.

Today I read Sue's blog about being overweight. See, I don't mind if she talks about it; she's funny, poignant, and most importantly not whiny. Same with Tracy about finances. Her husband is currently looking for a job, and so of course money is tight. I always check hoping I'll hear good news, and praying that soon they will hear good news.

What I meant was I don't like people who just aimlessly whine about these topics. Weight and money are awkward. Weight issues tend to feel shallow (although of course they're not, but writing in and of itself is already a two-dimensional medium, and so three-dimensional emotions and feelings tend to sound squished and flat in writing. I think that's why SOOOOO many people write *like this*!!!!! LOL {laughs derisively at the lack of grammar}. They're just trying to bring the spoken register of voice inflection into a written medium without transferring into known and accepted forms of emphasis and language structure. It's really just a written form of Aamiya, which is the spoken form of Arabic. It's so different from the written form, that the two are often indistinguishable as the same language. Our English "Aamiya" is quite obviously the same language, but it's vast differences are only highlighted when written down as if it were the appropriate register to write in.

But I digress from my pet peeve of blog writing (don't worry, if you write like this I still love you. I'm only half a linguistic Prescriptionist - one who says that to be correct English one must follow the rules. The other half of me is a wet and wild Descriptivist, that believes anything a native English speaker say is correct, because by the very act of creating it, you are speaking English, and so it can't be wrong. Just not in the dictionary {Until I see it in the dictionary, it's not correct, in my book - dictionary book, that is.} )

But now I'm really digressing. I can't help it, I've suddenly remembered I have a brain and intellectual opinions and vocabulary words like hermeneutical.

Ahem, I was saying that (see that ahem? That's me being all "spoken register" again. I told you I'm wild) weight issues tend to sound shallow, although they're not. Money issues on the other hand just sound stressed, understandably so. I once came across a blog where on the main page she talked about losing enough weight so that her thighs didn't brush together, and the last time she had been able to do it, her garden border little fence things, which they didn't buy enough of, but that's okay, because they accidentally saved some money, and that was a good thing, because money was tight, and her daughter's potty training, which wasn't going well, and they only had so much underwear for her daughter, because once again, money was tight but she'd only eaten such and such a dessert that day, so that was good.

It was somewhat an overwhelming blog of pity, in the altogether. I'm sure it was just a loss of written ability to garner sympathy, and that in person she comes across as a lot less tunnel-visionally minded on her three topics o' doom. But that was the basis for the first two of my holy trinity.

Except now I just realize it's all about how you talk about it. And not being whiny. Frustrated? Yes. Panicked? Sure. Unsure about the future? Of course. Whiny? Please stop talking. Unless you're particularly clever in your whinyness-then I'll keep reading you for the pleasure of the voice. As long as you have a grasp on grammar and the written register, that is.

P.S. I realize I come across sounding kind of jerky in this post. I really didn't mean to be. I was trying to mitigate my seeming jerkiness and lack of flexibility in life situations of the previous post. Because I'll love you even if you have no much but lots of weight. Really. I am a loving person. Who right about now wishes that she could use more of the spoken register to make this sound a little less flat. So mentally add some sincere inflection into this paragraph, please.

P.P.S. If you ever want to feel better about money, email and ask me what we made last year. I promise you it was less than you did. But we did it while living in England, so we still came out on top.



  2. This post tempts me in so many ways, because I am a rebel. Don't talk about what? Well, let me tell you...

    But because I like you, I will restrain myself. (While beginning my sentence with a conjunction and following up with a fragment.)


  3. Thora, Thora, Thora....
    I must admit that I am one of the people that really don't pay too much attention to grammer and spelling and all of those little rules that i somehow missed being taught.
    Oh well you still love me right!?!
    I love you and I love your "voice" I always have.
    CALL ME!!!

  4. hmmm well its a good thing you are my sister or you may never read my blog again! sorry i am horrible with grahmer and spelling and punctuation. Oh and i whine... oops. but hey my blog is kind of like a journal.. and all people whine at the end of pregnancy right?? so anyways i love you.

    oh and i read your friends blog about the weight. here is my whine for the day for you... i must say i liked it better when i was the skinny sister... no fair that when you breastfeed you get skinny and when i breastfeed my body hangs on to every last pound it can sure that there will be a natural disater and i will need to breastfeed every baby on my block!

    and you still have to love me even if i whine becuase i am your sister not some random person. :)

  5. It's true, Camilla, I will always love you and your blog. Don't worry, I'd read your blog if I had to do it while standing upside down in cold water.

  6. Thats funny! I tend to not care if other people write about those things,but I would feel so embarresed if I did. And I have, on my blog and I feel ashamed. then again I can't feel to bad if I have not gone and edited it. Thats why i have been making light hearted feel good posts. I think that readers judge me entirely off of my latest post. And i don't want them to think i am all negative and hate my life.
    as for the rules of writing/speaking english.... I don't know how to do either one properly. in this comment you have to cut me some slack because i am typing one handed, holding a skwirming little one.

  7. Thora-
    Thanks for the link. Sometime I wonder about my voice, too- the last thing I want to be is whiny. (My feeling is, as long as it's written well, I'll read anything. It's the "written well" part thats the problem!)

    Your banner is lovely with the lotus blossom...

  8. Thora, I think you have entirely too many friends. Because sometimes I want to be the first post so I seem significant.
    Mostly I wanted to tell you that I actually agree wholeheartedly with this post. Particularly about grammer and punctuation. I know I don't always use them correctly, and I don't always know what correct is--for example, I don't know how that second sentence should correctly have been written, and I actually I don't know where in this sentence that correctly should correctly have gone, but I am pretty certain that it is not right the way it is. And I care about things like that. And I worry about whether a question mark at the end of a parenthetical statement tacked onto a sentence that would not otherwise use a question mark should go before or after the closing parenthese.
    I once told my sister "I don't think I'd make a very good teenager. My text messages are entirely too long and correctly punctuated." She thought it was funny enough to write on the quote board, which is the only reason I remember saying it.
    I try very hard not to correct other's grammer, especially my husband, but I still wonder whether it is ever appropriate to do so. I also wonder how to teach my children correct grammer without being so annoying they ignore me. Because it is very important to me to know it, and have an extensive enough vocabulary to (mostly) understand the scriptures and Shakespear, or at least not to be afraid of them.
    Thank you for giving me permission (even if unwittingly) to postulate about my own grammaticaly obsessions.
    I love your voice, because even if it is mostly adapted to the written register, it still sounds so blessedly like you.