Thursday, 11 October 2012

Not to bring the tone down...

I am a good writer, but when it comes to writing, I am a bit pretentious (and lazy). The market wants ‘clear, flawless copy,’ that kind of terse, almost severe style of writing with which business reports and marketing proposals are drafted, or if not that then something equally repellent, referred to incomprehensibly as ‘quirky.’ I developed my writing style crafting academic essays on art and literature, where pretence is almost expected,  where flamboyance overrules brevity, where excessive sentence length is a virtue and a whimsical use of grammar – ‘em’ dash parentheses are my favourite, like surreptitious hat-tips to the world of typography  –  denotes a casual disdain for ‘the rules,’ grammatical or otherwise. This has made my foray into the world of professional writing rather tentative and so instead of subjecting my excessively feathery quill to the quotidian drone of the newspaper article or the utilitarian goosestep of the business report, I have applied my knowledge of ‘the rules,’ grammatical and otherwise, to others’ work as that unsung hero of the field (almost tragically) named ‘communications’: The Editor. As such I trawl through the shambles of poor sentence construction, cliché, painful repetition, appalling use of grammar and a general ignorance of correct spelling. And to my relative dismay I’m rather good at it. This has led me to the knowledge that I must certainly be a masochist of some kind, because to be honest, I really do enjoy such work. Setting the world of words to rights has a stabilising effect on my mind and a soothing effect on my soul; I feel as if I am, in some small way, helping to stave off the rising tide of mental deterioration that accompanies the Orwellian nightmare that is text-speak.

  –– Editor’s note:  One day I’ll learn to write properly and let some other poor sod edit the accumulated detritus that erodes off my mind in the constant tectonic struggle to become: The Artist. Thank you. 

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