TOPIC # 60 INDULGE is defined as “Become involved in (an activity, typically one that is undesirable or disapproved of): “indulge in gossip”.
I always defined indulge as savoring a special treat. How wrong I was. I really love the above definition of indulge that (or should that be which) popped up when I did a Google search the dictionary definition. Then I thought, Ah yes, of course, “To indulge in forbidden fruits.” So here is the article by Jon Gingerich that lead me to this topic.
Here are his three introductory paragraphs; the ones sparking my thinking and that made me fall in love. Don’t tell Cranky Old Man. Jon speaks the truth but with a kind tongue.
I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery.
As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is.
Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made each of these mistakes a hundred times, and I know some of the best authors in history have lived to see these very toadstools appear in print. Let’s hope you can learn from some of their more famous mistakes.
When this Cranky Old Lady writes for publication, she is indulging and making many wish she would not. Those opposed to her jottings suffer because I am not a letter-perfect grammatician. It is a brain and training difference. It is also why I think delete buttons were invented. I am not Stalin, Hitler, an Islamist, Christian fundamentalist, or any other being trying to control what others say, think, believe, or read. Read or delete. End of Cranky Old Lady Rant.
If you can read past a few things, you might find something to chuckle about, learn something you didn’t know, or be affirmed in one or another life struggle. Many indulge me and some even click like or share. Thank you. Not hundreds, but enough to keep me going..
My grammatical and spelling errors are a barrier for a wider audience. I have Dysgraphia. Here is what Wikipedia says about this disorder as it applies to me.
People with dysgraphia often have unusual difficulty with handwriting and spelling which in turn can cause writing fatigue. They may lack basic grammar and spelling skills (for example, having difficulties with the letters p, q, b, and d), and often will write the wrong word when trying to formulate their thoughts on paper. The disorder generally emerges when the child is first introduced to writing. Adults, teenagers, and children alike are all subject to dysgraphia.
Wikipedia also notes that dysgraphia is often combined with other disorders. I am definitely hyper and that means impulsive. So at least in responding to E-mails or tweeting. I push the send button when it would be wiser to push save and wait a half an hour to re-read before sending. But even when I spend time editing, put it aside, re-edit, pay attention to grammar and spell check, things get through.
Happened this morning with one of my Tweets. I re-tweeted a quote and added what I thought would be a joke. I did re-read it, but didn’t let it rest and hour or so before sending. Here is what I sent:
RT @shrinkthinks: A baby tends to assume that what is there is normal. ~ D. W. Winnicott and my husband assumes what he things is right.
And of course, my addition should read, “. And my husband assumes what he thinks is right.”
As I read my too quickly sent post, my cheeks flamed. Moreover, I was transported back to the days of homework requiring me to copy mis-spelled words 50 times. Teachers had the best intentions, and found it frustrating that the next day my brain would continue on its merry way. At least by the time my sons were diagnosed and I realized I was dysgraphic, some understanding had developed.
Some understand, but not enough. As every child, teen, or adult with a learning disability or other disability, particularly a hidden disorder, knows stigma is almost always there. It interferes with acceptance by others and by the self. Besides being the Cranky Old Lady I post as sometimes, I am a smart, highly successful woman. And I can be brought to my knees by knowing how I am judged by far too many. Think of how it hurts those with less success or smarts on their side.
I write about my dysgraphia to educate the unknowing. I write to take a pot shot at stigma. I write to encourage those with dysgraphia to take advantage of the help that is available. Finally, I write to fight any disorder shrouded in stigma.
REALITY CHECK Knowing your strengths and weaknesses matter. Knowing what you can do and where you need help makes a crucial difference in reaching your goals.
Without grammar and spell check I would never have been able to write as I do. I would not have been able to publish two books with respected publishers. Doing so also required the help of two very good editors who saw beyond my problems to the larger possibilities in my experiences and knowledge. I am working hard on my novel and know it won’t be readable without editing help.
STAYING STRONG TIP No one makes it on their own. Well, there are a few species in which the young have to make it on their on or die; many die. We humans need others. Those of us raised in the USA are told “Just Do It” and “If I did, anyone can.” Not true. Those who seem to just do it, had specific talents, lots of luck, and lots of help along the way.
Remember to take advantage of all the help you can, don’t let stigma or fear of appearing weak defeat you.
IMAGE BY: Thepoliticalcarnival.net