Friday, February 17, 2017

1759 Listen Up. I'm Only Going to Say this Once

1759 I’m Only going to Say This Once
Once it leaves this thing, it’s gone forever
People who write or broadcast things like Wessays (™) are commercial artists.  The posts are not great art. They are not fine art.  They’re just the equivalent in words of the pictures you see in the paper advertising Madd Matt’s Mazda or Three Buck Chuck. We are writing for the moment and for the ear.  Pictures are optional.

So are many of the conventions of grammar, a discipline developed by people of good will to set a standard the untrained and unimaginative can use so others understand what they’re saying or writing.

But with commercial art for the ear… once it’s gone, it’s like light traffic on the highway:  it passes quickly and vanishes over the horizon before you can give it a second look.

Why this subject and why now?  Because I’ve gotten variations of the same questions over the last 50 years.  Why aren’t you more careful with structure? Why don’t you print some of this stuff so your kids have something to remember you by?

Because it’s traffic, and nothing more.  Because if you hear and understand it, that’s the best possible outcome. Who wants to read your high school love poetry?  Who wants to read and study and pick apart a “column” you heard?  

Ahah! Scrutiny be damned.

Well, yeah that’s a part of it.  We talk in fragments. Grandma Grammarama will tell us every time we commit that sin.  Unless, of course we make a deal with the devil who masquerades as the “ignore rule” button in MS Word.

Diagram a sentence?  How about diagram a painting or a cartoon or photograph or a statue or a bag of popcorn?  Extra points for the statue and the popcorn.

Also: print leaves evidence.  Talk does not. Except when you put a script on the internet where everything lives forever.  But who believes anything on the internet these days?

It’s either fake or has been hacked or has been leaked or it’s a lie or an alternative fact.  Which brings us to …  (drum roll, please!)

The Alternative Lie.  Yes, the alternative lie is the yin to the yang of the alternative truth or fact.  Here is a solid example of an alternative lie:  If you drop a quarter on the sidewalk, it will fall down, not up.

That one is pretty easy to debunk.  You can try it yourself.  Go ahead. Drop a quarter, see which way it falls.

While an alternative fact is just a lie in a tuxedo, an alternative lie is a fact.  

--Anyone else notice this?  President Shlump is looking even shlumpier than ever these.  Probably the weight of all those lies.

--Workers at the Department of Commerce thought there had been a mistake in their paychecks.  But they only looked bigger than usual because the checks are written in rubles which are selling for about two cents per US dollar these days.

I’m Wes Richards. My alternative facts are my own but you’re welcome to them.
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