Monday, March 9, 2015

Communication: punctuation and typos

The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. -William H. Gass, writer and professor (b. 1924)

This particular offering by Wordsmith ( got me to reflecting : how true. If we could only be more precise in our words, if we could only communicate better, how many of the world’s problems would be – if not solved – diminished.

My housemate is a writer – a published writer – but I know that when she writes an e-mail or even sometimes posts on FB that often one has to know her to realize what she meant.  The latest was « What was going to be a trying day, like most days with Rick turned out to be fun afterall.” Now, this is her husband, a husband that she loves, what she probably meant was “what was going to be a trying day, like most days (involving authorities), turned out with Rick to be fun after all”. Oh the importance of a comma or two. Sorry D-L.

I tend to write – and sometimes talk – just as weirdly as witness the following examples:
  • cats = no burning blames - ok flames
  • Also swept up 4 bags of leaves from my baloney (oops balcony)
  • Making many trips to recycle the blottles (hmmm…. Think I drank one to many there)
  • Complicated the lives we need. Oops meant obviously to write lead! But then again perhaps that was my unconscious speaking.
  • Pendling brochures (and that is actually pendel from the Scandinavian languages or German meaning to commute or to swing as in pendulum) – o.k. peddling brochures
  • Frieds (friends) going out to eat.

Readers of all ages, cultures and walks of life enjoy criminal novels, autobiographies, historical both fiction and non-fiction: some love poetry, others prose, yet others science fiction or any of the other modes of writing. We both learn from our reading and are influenced by our reading (especially when it comes to the half truths, non-published facts or otherwise distorted media publications).

Our world can be explained, we can get assistance in our understanding of the surrounding world through well-written articles, books and essays. I thus entirely agree that the true alchemist is now the person who can explain the world in words – who can put into words our thoughts, feelings, longings and accomplishments. Who, with words, can paint a picture of what was, what is and what will be, or can be.  

A "wordle" - you can make your own at