Monday, May 13, 2013

Lost in translation…because you lose the plot

Everyone has their own way of writing. Some use humour, sarcasm, similes, whatever to create a specific style. The style is their brand, what makes them unique.  But not everyone can do it. I have read many books, which I don’t even remember because the langue or the imagination of the writer is much like the next one. It doesn’t stand out to me.  

When I read an opinion or a social commentary whether in a blog, email, article I am very critical. Two words “reference” and “justify” has been ingrained in my mind. Every time I read something I ask myself, how do you know this? What does that mean? This can make me very anal and I’m sure this post is going to make me sound preachy.

For a while now I’ve been saying that people are saying a lot but they fail to “make an argument”. I get that I approach it from an academic point of view, but hear me out.

Understanding is often based on many things, intellect, experience, age. When a reader comes to a piece of writing they bring with them their whole selves, their whole world to the table, and interpret and understand from their point of view.
Now is it the writers fault that the reader can’t understand? No. You have to write in a way that is true to yourself, I get that. BUT, it is your responsibility to make sure what you are writing is understandable. Keep your audience in mind; though don’t only write for their pleasure. It’s a delicate balance.  

So what is the point of this whole thing? If you going to comment on real life social issues, I suggest you learn how to do it. There is a reason “the pen is mightier than the sword”. You are accountable for your words.

For the writers

“MAKE AN ARGUMENT!!!” An argument in academic work is not a bad thing. It basically means, make a point with justifications. You can’t say “the sky is blue” you have to say “I’ve experienced the sea, therefore the sky is blue”. Now when you don’t do that, people make their own assumptions as to why you are saying “the sky is blue”. And their own assumptions will contradict your conclusion and miscommunication occurs.
Don’t use big words if it doesn’t come naturally to you. You just come across as a pompous asshole. And yes readers can tell.

Use sarcasm and humour with great caution. My funny and your funny are very different.

Spelling and grammar is something that I totally suck at. But if you don’t use this right, meaning is lost.

For the Readers
Walk a mile in the writer’s shoes. Yes, you have different experiences but try and understand what the writer is saying before you go shooting off your fowl mouth (Yes I have done this before). That is why I can tell you, read to understand “the argument”. Don’t get side tracked by the sparkle of the examples. Sometimes they don’t make sense to you because you don’t have the background to understand it.

I just read a blog that is perfect example of how people just loose the plot. She is talking about a subject, using examples to explain. The critics all get so caught up on the subject that the POINT of the article is completely lost. And they come off sounding like Dicks. If they did have a valid critique it’s lost among the bull shit they sprouting.

Be critical not RUDE. If you disagree, say so but with respect. And then justify your argument! State why you are critical - give evidence, even if it’s a made up example.

If you don’t understand, ask. Don’t respond to something you are not clear on!

This is specifically for serious social issues that are being discussed. I don’t like saying nasty things on peoples blog’s because I feel like it’s their personal space, but if you want to be critical about any of my stuff, go ahead. Just remember…make an argument!

Henry Cavill - Just because :D


The Blue Grumpster said...

You sound very preachy. Very preachy. I love preachy. Preachy is a great style. No, I'm not boasting my blue-n-grumpily sarcastic style, which, incidentally, is great too. I'm afraid I don't think it's my responsibility to make sure that what I'm writing is understandable. First of all, I don't think the word responsibility is in order. It makes my writing so much less fun. Secondly, you're assuming people's frame of reference overlap, which often isn't the case. We have all been brainwashed. (Yes that's right, I said 'brainwashed.') It's called upbringing, and some may argue it's tantamount to knowing what is right, better and perfect relative to what other people think or believe. I don't mind that. Different is good. But it's not my responsibility. All I can do is hope there are people out there who like what I write. We humans take ourselves way way way too serious.

O was I preaching? ;)

Lady T said...

Preach this is the theme the post anyway. so no need for the comments to be different. Yip you are right, we are brainwashed somewhat.

The word "responsibility" only comes to play when you speak for or on behalf of people. When you make assumptions, deductions, theories about a collective. Which is something many people do all the time, including myself. When you talking about yourself, how you feel, think, your observations, there is no need.

The Blue Grumpster said...

Amen to that.