Monday, April 7, 2014

Lost Art

Can I just say how in love I am with the way words used to be used? Good gosh. I just finished reading Freud and Einstein's correspondence on war, and the way they address each other and form their thoughts gives me chills.

Why can't we articulate ourselves like that today? Why don't we CRAFT paragraphs instead of just hashing them out and hoping we get our points across?

Maybe it's just Freud and Einstein's older style. Maybe it just sounds better to me because it's DIFFERENT. Maybe in fifty years, people will read our blog posts and coo over how wonderfully we expressed ourselves.

Part of me thinks that would great, but most of me winces at the thought. If people fifty years down the road are so poorly educated and woefully inarticulate as to think that my clumsy thoughts are as well-put as Freud's...then there's just no hope for humanity.

I love the way old writers would convey meaning precisely, and yet leave the perfect amount of room for inference and extrapolation. Half of what they said was in what they DIDN'T SAY, and the recipients of their words were astute enough to catch the polite implications and file them duly away.

The fact that great words inspired me to write this post at all makes me even more sure of a truth I already knew:  to write well, you must read well. Reading good literature will always subconsciously push you to write better. It's like watching a movie that stars British characters. I can't be the only one who thinks in a British accent for a little while afterwards, right?

If you fill your mind with British accents, British accents will fill your mind. If you fill your mind with well-written words, well-written words will fill your mind.

Gah, there are a million things I should be doing right now, but I'm so in love with words that I just had to say something.

Being an English major is the best decision I've ever made. If I could marry words, I honestly think I might XD



  1. oooooh yes. so much this it isn't even funny.

    but, in all honesty, there are some blogs out there (and i would include yours as well) that are actually well written (even though they use some of the trending vernacular of today's culture). when compared to other blogs hanging around the internet though, they shine like diamonds. (or just other writing in general..i don't want to downplay your wordsmith-ing!)

    at leeest yew dont rite liek dis. oy, with the headaches already. haHA!

  2. mmm I love your this post and your blog. Your way of writing is so good and all your advices are good for others (like me a non-native speaker of English) :)
    Keep playing with words, you already are famous!

  3. I agree with Natalie, one of the reasons I read your blog is because you write well. You also make some good points. I think there is a lowering of the quality of writing these days and I think it's for two reasons. One is we're not as well educated as we once were. People rely far too much on the same words and lack imagination or the desire to use the right words. The second is that in the old days when letters were handwritten or typed, greater thought went into what they wanted to say before they even began writing. Today with digital technology we just sit down and bang away, knowing we can easily delete or so on. The same thing happens with digital pictures. We just snap away knowing it costs us nothing. When we used film we thought before taking the shot.

    On the subject of writing I think the essay by George Orwell called Politics and the English Language is really interesting. It makes interesting points on how people construct sentences and paragraphs.