I have a degree in English. I should be prolific and insightful and bordering on snooty. Isn’t that how English graduates are supposed to act? I should use big words like… I don’t know. See my problem? I can’t even think of any.
Yet there is this monster that comes up for me every time I read something I feel like I need to look up. This week it was a quote on Havi’s blog from one of her Item! Posts: “I like to… laugh at anything that pokes fun at commercialism, holiday treacle, or extreme reverence.”
“Treacle?” “Reverence?” When I read things like this the monster attacks me with “Why don’t you use words like that? You should know what treacle means. You should be able to use it in casual conversation. You are a disgrace to English graduates everywhere!”
It’s a mean, mean monster.
So when the monster reared his ugly head this week, I didn’t bow to its authority. I talked back. “No, I don’t know what treacle means. In fact, I don’t care. I like the way I talk. I like the way I write, sentence fragments and all. Take your ‘shame on you’ lecture and go pick on someone your own size. I’m just fine here.”
I’ve been doing a lot of talking back these days. Last week I trash talked the universe on Twitter. The other day I practiced changing the thought when the angry monster wanted me to growl at people. Now this.
I’m battling these monsters one by one. I’m done taking their crap. It is their turn to fear me.
I will not change the way I write to match some preconceived notion of what I’m supposed to do. I like to write in a conversational way. I think it’s meaningful. I like inserting my goofy jokes even if no one gets them but me.
I don’t have an ostentatious vocabulary (yes, I used a thesaurus) and I’m okay with that. Moreover, it doesn’t mean I’m dumb or that I’m a failure to the English language.
So to this monster who tries to tell me I’m a dunce, I bid farewell. You are no longer welcome here.
P.S. To the lovely Havi and Liz Enslin- This post in no way reflects my opinion of either of you. I think you are both divine! Keep doing what you’re doing and, dangit, use whatever words are true to you!
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