Author Topic: A Few Words to a Young Writer  (Read 8086 times)

Offline Christopher Silva

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A Few Words to a Young Writer
« on: November 02, 2007, 06:21:20 AM »
A Few Words to a Young Writer:

Socrates said, "The misuse of language induces evil in the soul." He wasn't talking about grammar. To misuse language is to use it the way politicians and advertisers do, for profit, without taking responsibility for what the words mean. Language used as a means to get power or make money goes wrong: it lies. Language used as an end in itself, to sing a poem or tell a story, goes right, goes towards the truth.

A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.



_
chris
thanks to ULG

Nelodra

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 06:35:26 AM »
Nicely put, Funwriter.  :)
And I think you're so right.

Looking at my own stories, I see myself doing just that: choosing my words very carefully. Esp. because my stories are usually about disturbing themes. The things we'd all want existed in nightmares only, but sadly are a part of real life.

I don't care much for politics or the advertizing industry. Indeed they misuse words. They use them to deceive and for their own profit. Don't get me started...  >:(


Offline Ollie The Legend

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 08:27:35 AM »
I hope these words, chosen as carefully as I've seen in a long time, do inspire young writers to learn the proper ways to use their own.
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Offline Spell Chick

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 08:53:44 AM »
I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US the choices for words is influenced a great deal by politics. If I don't use Politically Correct verbiage, I will simply be in a world of crap. I am so sick of typing out African-American that I'm about to insist on Northern European-American, Mediteranean-American, Scandanavian-American, etc.

There are no more secretaries here, they are all administrative assistants, although they do secretarial work and are paid the same lowly wage. Sanitation workers used to be garbage men. And woe to any writer who uses the gender specific as in chairman.

We have gotten so crazy that we can't always talk about he did this or that and know that it can include she people too. So writers will use a "they" when they are talking about a singular of unknown gender to make the writing even worse.

I understand that words hurt. I am getting to the point where I think that PC speech is hurting us all.

Patti
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Nelodra

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 09:26:18 AM »
Just forget about being politically correct.
As a writer you can't afford something as silly as that. It will make for dry, stupid writing.
I don't mean to say that you have to be offensive or anything - but just forget about the politically correct thing. That's simply gone entirely too far!

I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US the choices for words is influenced a great deal by politics. If I don't use Politically Correct verbiage, I will simply be in a world of crap. I am so sick of typing out African-American that I'm about to insist on Northern European-American, Mediteranean-American, Scandanavian-American, etc.

There are no more secretaries here, they are all administrative assistants, although they do secretarial work and are paid the same lowly wage. Sanitation workers used to be garbage men. And woe to any writer who uses the gender specific as in chairman.

We have gotten so crazy that we can't always talk about he did this or that and know that it can include she people too. So writers will use a "they" when they are talking about a singular of unknown gender to make the writing even worse.

I understand that words hurt. I am getting to the point where I think that PC speech is hurting us all.

Patti
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 09:27:56 AM by Nelodra »

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 09:32:24 AM »
I write non-fiction and find that I must be more rigid in my conformity for that.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline Ollie The Legend

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 09:33:43 AM »
I'm sure you'll find some leeway if you look for it.
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Offline Spell Chick

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2007, 09:43:03 AM »
When writing about the Orangeburg Massacre, I actually used the word "black" instead of African-American. But I still have African-American as a hotkey.

For Word users, did you know that you can tell your autocorrect feature to replace any typed something with something else? I have taught my computer that afam really means African-American so when I type afam and hit the spacebar, it prints the longer phrase, captilized and hyphenated. You can do this with any word or phrase you type often and yet hate typing out. Well, when using the text program, anyway.    :D

Tech assistant,
Patti
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline Ollie The Legend

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007, 09:44:18 AM »
I'm so going to do that someday, but not today.
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Nelodra

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 09:46:57 AM »
Yes, I'm sure it's more difficult when you write non-fiction.

Thanks for the Word tip, BTW.
I knew about thereplace word function, but never even thought of it to use it that way.  :)

Offline Ollie The Legend

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 09:51:51 AM »
Tell me exactly how to do it, yes I want it on today. Hello Nano quickener.
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Offline Spell Chick

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2007, 10:09:58 AM »
Two ways:

1. Type out what you want it to actually look like, my case African-American
2. Highlight that text
3. Go to Tools; then select AutoCorrect Options ... (Older versions I believe just say AutoCorrect)
4. Type in what you want to type, my case afam
5. Click on Add
6. Click OK


Other way
1. Go to tools and open the AutoCorrect dialog box by clicking on the AutoCorrect options. ...
2. Type in abbreviated form and the way you want it to look
3. Hit add
4. Either add more autocorrect things, or click ok to close dialog box

Either way you will now get the machine to correct  your type.

afam comes up African-American, but if I want plural, I have to backspace once to add the S, I could put in afams and have it come up as the plural.

This section will hold a HUGE amount of data. I used to have whole forms stored in there so that they automatically popped up.

Caveat,
I never type my name because I just enter my initials and my name displays. My sister's initials are CAN and she does not want to have her name appear each time she writes the word "can" so she has to use something else. Be sure that whatever you enter is not a real word, and be sure it is spelled correctly!

You can go back and modify your entries. They can be deleted, too.

Best of luck. This makes typing so much easier for me and I hate to type. I love to write, tho. <<< In Word that would have come out though.

Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline Ollie The Legend

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2007, 10:24:17 AM »
thanks, it's working beautifully.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline DGSquared

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2007, 02:41:17 PM »
SpChick, having you around is like having a Genie in my MWC! Maybe that was old hat to those of you who are proficient at the computer but not all of us have trained ourselves so well.  ;) Thanks love.

Perhaps you should start a helpful hints and shortcuts thread for those of us who use software every day that we could be using more efficiently....in your spare time. ;)
~Deb
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: A Few Words to a Young Writer
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2007, 08:12:14 PM »
I'm not sure how many helpful hints I know that are "secret."
One thing I use frequently: To double space text quickly, highlight it and then hit Ctrl + 2
Or to single space stuff Ctrl + 1

and the tricky 1.5 space is Ctrl + 5

another thing that I had to tell my students over and over - before you do anything - SAVE YOUR FILE. Then if you lose material, don't like it, or the machine locks up, you have a good file to come back to. Spell check used to cause glitches years ago. I just got very used to saving early and often.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.