Thursday, March 29, 2012

On "Rules," Redux

Today's recycled post, which was entitled Rules It's the Words That Rule, is from March 29, 2007. Why am I recycling? Well, because there's no rule against it -- and if there were, I'd sure enough break it just because I'm sometimes (okay, often) too lazy to write something new.

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Some of us have been discussing recently on various sites the rules that (ex officio) govern the mechanics of writing. How important are they? How deeply set in stone are they? The verdict? The consensus among this group of talented writers is that "we don't need no stinkin' rules!" Many writers are adept enough at what they do to slip the bonds of what sometimes seem like arbitrary and capricious rules and regulations and produce wonderfully literate prose in spite of it -- or perhaps because of it.

Rules were invented for a purpose (quality control?), but they were also invented to be broken when necessary. A rule that applies to one person might not necessarily be appropriate for another. In fact, sometimes breaking a rule actually improves the end result. Rules regarding, for example, Point of View can quite successfully be flouted if the writer knows what he or she is doing. The same applies to application of all the other rules. Presupposing that the writer does, indeed, know his or her craft, he or she has a feel for the work. It is readily apparent to the practiced eye when a passage does or does not work, the salient word being practiced. The accomplished author just knows when it feels right. If it doesn't conform to "the rules," so what? The genuinely gifted writer isn't going to sit around bemoaning the constraints of rules, much less wallow in guilt for breaking them. Instead, he's going to move forward in step with his own instincts to produce something innovative and wildly exciting.

Some fledgling scribes, on the other hand, may need the rules. A lot. Not all who apply the "writer" label to themselves should be given license to ignore the rules. Given their heads, oh, what a dreadful mess they weave. Alas, they are apt to disregard, trample, and trash the rules because (1) they don't know them and (2) well, they don't know them -- and they are whence comes today's Twisted Linguistics docket.

How about "I tried the diet the weight went down somewhat?" This person is guilty of punctuation neglect. That's a felony.

"sent it to independant publisher's" -- This one practices apostrophe abuse and can't spell.

"My poems have been recieve very well" -- What we see here is blatant disregard of tense and, again, the inability to spell a simple two-syllable word. In some states, that's a misdemeanor; here, it's charged as a felony.

"Their going out of their way to make it a success" -- Mmm-HMM. Homonym assault, unless I miss my guess.

"If your doing a signing" -- There is a distinct difference between your and you're. Word abusers who don't know the difference but persist in calling themselves authors don't really deserve signings, do they?

And finally, we have the crowd that just loves to make up words, such as

no revalance to my work

It's not revalant, damn it, and consan it, it's working me up and fristrating me.

- It's Thursday! You're probably not terribly excited about that fact, but I am. Thursday is the last day of my work week, so my weekend officially begins this afternoon. You know what that means -- it's time to raise a little (or a lot of) hell.

- To kick things off, this is niiiiiiiice. Mmmmm.

- I'm having another one of those "puberty days" -- zit on my nose. I don't get this at all. I didn't have zits when I actually went through puberty about two centuries ago, so why now?

- Would I set foot on that new glass-bottomed skywalk jutting out over the Grand Canyon? Not on your life!

*Special News Bulletin*
Scary Monster, who's in Hawaii, is also now also in Florida visiting Leelee. (Don't ask how he can be in two places at once. It's a secret Monster trick that we mortals cannot know.) His unnatural attachment to Leelee's garden gnome notwithstanding, it looks like they're having a ball.

The secrets of your love life, revealed

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have many true loves.

You're a little scarred from your past relationships, but who isn't?

It's important to you that your lover is very attractive. You like to have someone to show off.

In fights, you are able to walk away and calm down. You are able to weather the storm.

A break-up usually comes as a shock to you. You always think things are going well.


G-Man said...

Gosh you are really strict!!

quid said...

I recognize that your zit was with you in 2007, not now. However, I have an annoying underskin bump on my cheek on the right side of nose that is making me irrational! GRRRR!

Serena said...

I am, indeed, Mr. Gee. Just think, if there were any openings for dominatrixes, I might have found a new job by now.:-)

I get those, too, Quid. Still. I've found that by using Roc's resurfacing system AND putting plain old hydrocortisone cream on them at night, they're soon pliable enough to simply scrape away with a fingernail. Sounds gross, but it works for me.:)