Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Still more questions you didn't ask (#5):

In this ever popular series (or so I like to imagine), I answer urgent questions from my avid (and nonexistent) fans.  Such as this:

Some of your phrasing is a little, shall we say quaint, or odd, or enigmatic, or archaic mayhap; what's the deal?  Is this just creative license or did you fail out of english in high school?  Can't you just stick to modern english?

Thank you for that phenomenal question (you are welcome).  I am a self-professed lover of old books (just check the book list on my other blog) and also enjoy watching such works brought to life on screen, in perusing such material, sometimes I will come across an archaic turn of phrase or a way of expressing something or an interesting word that sticks with me and eventually ends up in my writing.  One of my greatest disappointments with modern life is the decline of our language and literary skills.  Some newspapers write at a 4th grade reading level, thinking their readership too dense to understand anything else.  Modern society tends to 'dumb things down' instead of asking people to 'rise to the occasion,' as it were; we are all of us special which means none of us are.  Instead of trying hard, learning from our mistakes, and doing better next time, everyone gets a trophy for showing up.

I might write in prose but good writing (I am not making a personal claim here) should also be poetic in a sense: it should have a rhythm all its own and just flow from word to word, sentence to sentence; it should bear the reader whither you will on a sea of words, sometimes calm, sometimes stormy, but always suited to the narrative.  My writing is not complicated or hard to understand (i.e.: Ulysses) but I do throw in an outdated phrase, word, or bit of grammar from time to time, and yes, I feel free to mix and match from any and all periods and cultures (Tolkien would have a fit, but I can't say I like his elvish poetry either, so we'll agree to disagree).  I am a verbophile, I love words and phrases and dabble in them as a painter does their paints.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it is something I enjoy and hopefully my readers (if any) have fun with it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment