Thursday, January 31, 2008

Scribble and Scrambles - Big Words....

I left a snarky comment on another blog on Monday.

It was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and witty. In my eyes it was, but the author of the post has yet to respond. I may need to apologize.

Here's my issue...the beef.

Said column was about writing rules. You all know that I'm not a rule snob, and I fall closer to inhabiting the realm-of-remediality-of-rule-knowledge. Good grief, I won't submit anything without running it past my comma-buddy.

As I read the blog post about knowing the rules to break the rules, and story being king etc., I agreed with several nods and an occasional smile. He was absolutely right. Some people get published and they are nothing but rule breakers who can tell a stinking good story.

The writer of the post has an awesome vocabulary. I don't think mine stinks by any means, but I find myself wanting to be understood rather than misunderstood, and I'm becoming more aware that huge vocabularies sometimes intimidate. Sometimes flinging multi syllabic words around is just annoying too.

We all know the unfortunate beings that love hefty words and then use them inappropriately. The poor malaprop victims who confuse the meaning of interrogate with interpret. I try to avoid this unless I'm going for a laugh.

The blog post continued with a two or three paragraph quote from a book on the subject of writing rules. I made it through, just barely, then I laughed. I understood everything he said but I felt like I'd sat through a college level lecture. I wondered if there would next be a quiz on symbolism.

So I posted a comment about loving multi syllabic sarcasm and that I laughed at his example and had the urge to tell the guy to "just say it not spray it."

What do you think? Does great writing have to break rules? Does it need to have an element of pretension? Is it author intrusion when a writer writes to "teach" or "better" his readers? Do I need to apologize?