When writing I start a lot of sentences with the word SO. And that is bad. Sloppy, lazy, bad grammar, bad writing. Recently I have noticed, when speaking, people are starting sentences with SO – lots and lots of people. It irks me, my ear picks it up immediately and I automatically frown. Since I am also guilty of this, not so much in speech I don’t think, but in writing, I have no standing in criticizing anyone else. Still, it grates.
There is this bit of language usage where instead of saying ‘he said’ a person says ‘he went’ or ‘ so he goes…’ and ‘then I went..’ Went and Goes instead of said or says.
I always thought this was a New York thing but I’ve heard this usage in movies and tv shows so I’m guessing not. Unless the scriptwriters are New Yorkers – could be, probably not. What say you? Do people talk this way where you live?
I use a lot of slang, but to my mind it’s not slang so much as a regional/cultural language quirk. When I was writing papers in college I wrote the way I spoke, as I do even now on this blog, and it cost me in the grade department. It’s why I could never be a professional writer or even be successful in graduate school. You know my writing style, can you imagine a thesis written in this style? Me neither.
The question is, can I write ‘properly’? In good, solid academic English? Probably, if I tried really hard, if I really put my mind to it, of course I could. I simply don’t have the inclination therefore it mustn’t be important to me. My love affair is with words, in and of themselves, words are solid things to me. I can feel them, smell them, taste them. How I put them together in a sentence is personal.
The only time I labor over how I choose and use words is when I write poetry. While I think in quatrains they aren’t always exactly how I want them the first time they present themselves, well rarely.
If you have ever seen my notebooks (and you have if you remember) then you know how carefully I craft a poem.
Prose and poetry – different voices, different effort. Even my humorous poetry is carefully honed. Therefore not a matter of content or even intent.
I’m just meandering …