Friday, January 7, 2011

The often-called Spelling Nazi at his worst

As I lay in my bed (well, on the couch in the living room), I had a clear picture about what I wanted to write about. More a visual image of Word being opened and both my palms hovering over the keyboard than an actual image of the situations and people at hand, but I still managed to lose it.

I've written (more like ranted) about it before, especially while I was in India. I still leaf through the dodgy notebooks from time to time, trying to make some sense out of the mind storm that was going on in my head at that time. Losing, as Germans would say, den roten Faden after a blink of an eye. I see myself as one of those freaks one day, or autopsy people, talking in a digital recorder, trying to store thoughts, ideas and shapes. I wonder if it would be the same. I think not.

Trying to remember certain phrases or sentences has always been kind of hard for me. That's probably why I've always had isuues with theoretical exams in my life. It just doesn't seem natural to me to learn things by heart. Oh, when I remember the stupid poems I had to learn in school ― so pointless.

I think forcing an idea might somehow level out with losing it, if that makes any sense. Trying to remember thoughts seems like trying to copy a museum masterpiece. It's something one simply can't copy and, what's even worse, it's being stuck in an institution, in an unnatural environment, for people to stare at it and judge it.

But isn't that what we're all doing? Launching our thoughts out in the open, for everyone to see them and feel free to decide whether they like it or not. Is there a point to it after all? Aren't those our thoughts and ours only? Do we lose ownership over them by clicking the Publish button? Does is work that way at all?

Maybe it's comparable to literature, poetry and any form of art really. Canvassing an idea that people might appreciate. Simply the sharing. Some might dislike it, but who cares, right? I think there's surely someone out there who'll ditch your idea. I will be the first to dislike most famous artists' products. And that often turns me into an asshole. When I say his or hers new album or some new blockbuster with a mega famous Hollywood braud sucks. Mainstream people think I'm an ass. But I think they're the ones who're doing it wrong.

I like words, since I believe that the final cause changes the idea itself. Some people might be better off with a brush or an instrument, but making art just to make it somehow loses its purpose in my head. Art’s being made for its own sake.

Not that I'm an artist ― far from that ― but I somewhat like to use my own brain. My own inner compass. I sure as hell won't let other people tell me what I like and what I dislike. I've been taught to express my opinion and that's what I tent to do. I'm aware of the fact that it can be annoying though, but believe me, I'm the first one to be annoyed by it.

I hate the fact that I see an error calami when I open up a page. I hate stressing over grammatical errors in an article I like. I hate the fact that my friends hate it when I see those errors and hiss over them. I'd love to be more tolerant. I really would.

But I still believe there’s a difference between constructive criticism and a yapping mouth. I’m not the type who’ll go comment on errors, although I feel that I might as well turn into one of those. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who reacts to spelling and grammatical errors in the daily newspapers, but it sure annoys the hell out of me. (The reason is so many self-declared journalists and news people, who in fact just have connections or a nice cleavage, but that’s another story.)

After all, we do have spell checks in this century...

And whenever I read a cover story, I open the page and see three errors. Right away. It’s not only a professional deformation, but a curse. I’m horrified by the fact that there will be a typo in my texts. Especially when I’m writing in a language that isn’t native to me. By the mere fact that it’s in English, thecoefficient of the members of the jury who might find an error storms right up. I don't think there's a point to it, but it sure does make me even more uncomfortable.

Maybe I'm just not cut out to write. After I write a text, I just can't see the errors. I'll have to give my final thesis to various people, so that they find the errors I'm surely going to oversee. Sometimes I wonder if the same systems works with other things than writing.

But I'll do something ― I'll try not to care. I really enjoy reading a good piece of a text and I won't let it affect me. And now, after not writing about what I wanted to write about, I'll just go and read some texts that I wanted to catch up on. There's very nice blogs out there and they give me hope. Hope of quality ideas and no typos. Texts that make me think about stuff an hour after reading them. Texts that make me wish I were more fluent in foreign languages. Oceans of words that make me shut my computer down with a subtle grin on my face.

You are my psychiatrists and my tour guides. You're my imagination and my windows into other worlds. You're my newspapers and my TV. My photo albums and tickling ideas about all that is out there. So cheers out to you guys from snowy but sunny Österreich!


  1. i am definitely too scared to write to you anymore, in case i make grammatical errors. eeks!

  2. Hahaha, you don't have to worry - personal correspondence is a different thing. And it doesn't exclude me from errors in any case...



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