We are the sentinels of the richness and fullness of a dying language, which is disintegrating right before our very eyes. It is our responsibility to see to it, that our language remains solid, and well utilized to the best of our own advantage, within the confines of decency and good conscience, by the mechanism of reading, writing and speaking with as much propriety as is humanly possible, on a regular basis.
One such author, who goes by the name here on Facebook, of Tempus Thales, is busy writing epoch fiction, in defense of our sacred language, in the manner to which I refer. The more we give into street language in our writing and our speech, the more our language, as an institution, disintegrates. I challenge all Indie writers who read this, to strive to use the most proper and admirable language on a consistent basis, not only on Facebook, but in all their writing of their personal creativity, and in their casual speech throughout their days as well.
I don’t mean to write like I do, because I’m aware of how my chemical imbalance distorts my language. I mean write deliberately the way our forebears wrote, by reading old books, so that you are familiar with their writing styles and their circumspect habits of referring to some issues.
Do this in the presence of your children on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did, later.
This is a noble pursuit, and I want everyone, who reads my blog, to give serious consideration to my point. There happens to be so much abbreviation of the language going on, with the advent of the cell phone and the advent of the process called, texting, etc, that does just as much to undermine the solidarity of our language, which has the effect of depreciating our language at every turn, everyday.
What’s more is that there are so many versions of street language going on these days, which are a lot more vulgar than expressive in their very nature, than anything having to do with the proper usage of the English language, as our forebears knew it, not too many generations since. These influences are disintegrating the very foundations of our language, how ever blatantly or subtly, than any other influence against the solidarity of our language that I have noticed.
Do ya feel me, Dog?
It’s not so much what we say, but how we choose to say it, that matters here – this is my point.
If you want to write about zombies, go for it. If you want to write noir – or dark, fiction, go for it. Noir – or dark fiction, is something I have proven to my self that I excel in, whenever I focus my mind on a topic to write fiction at all, in the first place.
Check my blog, https://geostan51.wordpress.com/ under July 20012, the entry called Walk, for a free example of my noir fiction. I’m proud of that work. I think it’s a good bit of writing. It’s not the subject matter of Indie fiction which I am taking to task here. It is the language chosen to create and advertise the stories which I am focusing my disapproval on, first, last, and always, here and on Facebook.
Seriously, friends, this is what we desperately need to focus on, before our language, as an art form, gets too far gone to rescue. Try reading classic fiction for a change. Go to the classic section of Barns & Noble, and just buy out the whole shelf of classic fiction, if you can afford to do it. Or, buy the classics one at a time, if you have to. Don’t stop at classic, paperback fiction. Read classic philosophy too. It’ll be good for you.
Read authors whom you’ve never heard of. Get a hold of old books at yard sales and flea markets, who are published in decaying hard backs someone may sell you for outrageously low prices. Search out book stores which pride themselves in selling old books. Read whatever you buy. Pay the few cents and read some really good books. Books that utilize the kind of language, which most readers these days consider fodder for the trash bin.
Yes, it’s gotten that bad.
Read with the most archaic dictionary you can find, sitting right next to you on your table by your reading place. If you do enough of this, you will understand my point naturally. If you can succeed in doing this, good language will embed itself in your heart, just as it has embedded itself in mine. This process of alienation from the viability of the language that I hold dear, is something which has been growing on me, ever since I’ve been living with people old enough to be my parents, which has been about the past couple of years, most recently.
Earlier, I grew up in such an environment.
The other thing that brings this topic to mind is the incessant vulgarity on Facebook. Golly, we have a guy here at assisted living who talks like that. Positively no one who has any standards of decency will sit at his table with him at meal times. Even the few who sit with him because there’s no where else for him to sit, forsake him from time to time, only to be replaced by others, who also end up getting way from him, at other times, later on.
Trash mouth is not tolerated at assisted living.
I’ve tried my level best to have intelligent conversations with this guy, because he seems terribly lonely. Also, he claims to be well educated. But his vulgarity is so oppressive, I have to get up and walk away from him, in order to get relief from the discomfort of that kind of talk of his, around women who happen to be at least my elders. I mean, this old guy talks from down in the gutter, with a perfectly audible voice, in the presence of people who are grandmothers and great grandmothers in their own right. How would you like it?
Do you begin to get the idea why I’m so uncomfortable with vulgar language over the internet? Granted, most seniors don’t bother with the internet. But there are exceptions to this rule, too, and the kind of people whom I’m acquainted with, who frequent the internet, among this group, are people who wouldn’t take comfort in reading a bull-session, which is the way this man talks incessantly, if given half a chance to do it.
What’s more is, this man seems to be in touch with the fact that he’s offending people, but seems to have some sort of mental defect of some kind of degenerative illness, that while he’s aware of what he’s doing, and is aware of it’s effects on his environment, seems to have no power to stop doing his own bad behavior.
I had the rare privilege to be raised under the direct influence of my maternal grandmother, her two, aging sisters, my maternal aunt, my mother, and my sister – all under the same roof, with me and my two brothers, taking up the only male presence in the household. I now have the privilege of living in a place where almost all of the other residents here happen to be old enough to be my parents.
Well, at least I’ve had some rehearsal for the occasion.
Knowing as much of the language as I do, in the situation I find myself in now, is getting me a lot more respect and admiration, as an individual, not only here at home in assisted living, but also whenever I have to submit myself for medical help in an ER or an ICU at a hospital, where I don’t happen to have any prior experience with any of the professions who happen to be on duty at the time, who are making the decisions concerning my own, personal health.
I challenge all of you to write like this, in your own, unique style.
If you want to write steamy, graphic fiction about your fantasies of your own close encounters of the third kind, with members of the same, or the opposite sex, well go for it, but choose your language very carefully. Consider the audience you may be getting, to be someone like the pastor of your local church or your grandmother, or some such person. It happens. Such people knew you when you were little, and might just have a healthy curiosity in knowing how well you might express yourself in your young adulthood, happening to be a self-published author now, and all that. We wouldn’t want to offend any people like them, now would we?
Yes, yes, I know, I’m out of my mind.
No, I’m not. Not anymore I’m not. I know what I’m talking about.
I’ve got a safe haven which is far more appropriate for my personal needs than any I was ever able to access in my entire lifetime. My late aunt, who helped raise me, who knew my strengths and my weaknesses well, has left me something that I will never have control of in my entire lifetime. This enables me to live in the lap of luxury, while seeming to be a pauper at every turn.
She understood very well how vulnerable I am, and how astute I am at the same time.
That’s only a cheap method of negating my point, suggested by my mind’s imagination of how my reader might interpret my meaning.
There exists a language of absolute decency which you can use to talk about your own, personal version of the story of the conception and birth of your parents’ grandchildren, when you’re addressing your parents – or even when you are expressing your great love and heart-felt passion for your spouse to your own grandparents, concerning the conception and birth of their very first great grandchildren.
But I don’t recommend you try it with those people, unless you’ve mastered writing the way I’m suggesting. Those are very troubled waters to be attempting to sale in, my friend.
There happens to be language which is so circumspect, while being so directly explicit, at the same time, I would advise some of my writer friends to take a stab at this way of writing, so that you can hand an autographed copy of your steamiest stories to your grandparents, and not be embarrassed by the content of what you’ve written about, in the process.
But be careful to practice long and hard, before you try it.
What I am challenging you to know and utilize as a writing standard, is a certain style of choosing your language as you write, regardless of what you choose to write about. You learned that sort of language as children yourselves, I would hope, sitting at the feet of your own grandparents, whenever you were nothing more than tots yourselves.
The language I refer to, came easily to each one of us in the first place, when we were very innocent, because of the fact that we were innocent at the time. I’m not suggesting you mimic Wally and the Beaver whenever you write about your personal topic of choice. I’m suggesting you read enough classic literature over a space of several years, that you understand instinctively what the heck I’m talking about, before you change your style of writing, at all.
I challenge all of you to study literature, to learn how to write with that standard in mind, all the time. Make your elders proud of you, not shaking their heads as a reaction of horror to what you’ve written, when maybe your elders come behind you to read what you’ve written when you don’t realize they’re looking. Once you can do that for yourselves, you will publish with more confidence and self-assurance than at any other time in your lives.
The way you achieve such a standard is to read every old book you can get your hands on. You would be surprised at how the language has changed, just since the late 1800’s. Read things that require effort, thought and concentration. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about the age old English Language. You don’t have to pay anybody tuition money to learn what I’m suggesting. All you have to do is make a concerted effort to obtain and read “old school” books.
I dare ya.