On My Writing
Technically, a bunch of pieces are due tomorrow to meet the second of the three challenges I set myself. Illness in the past couple of weeks means that isn’t going to happen, so I’m giving myself until the morning of the 7th of July to finish up. Ideally, I’d give myself a free weekend to write (which is what I lost to a nastly cold. Grumble, grumble). However, I’ve got to work the weekend support shift next weekend. I considered giving myself a longer extension, but I have major social events each weekend after that through to the end of June. So, that seems like a bad plan. Instead, I’m going to release slightly rougher work than I really want to.
Hopefully, you should see some pieces going up during the week. I’ve actually got about 6000 words written at the moment and just in desperate need of some editing. I guess we’ll see what happens
On Language in General
I’ve been learning some of the basics of linguistics of late and have discovered that I have been a wrong, bad person for the last 15 or 20 years. A prescriptivist approach to language – where you tell people they can’t do shit because that’s not how we used to do it – is bull-malarkey. Language is whatever people use and what is mutually understood defines a dialect. The fact that so many people do use literally as an intensifier means that it is an intensifier. That’s how language works. It’s the whole idea behind it. What makes things even worse is that the highly educated and the less educated often speak different dialects (some linguists seem to prefer the term sociolect, which I think is cool but don’t know enough about to use confidently). Which basically means that we’re bullying people for speaking a language that isn’t quite the same as ours. Shame on us.
Stephen Fry covers a similar topic in a much better way (and with a much more impressive use of language than I possess):