Back in September, Chase found the perfect tomato (?)
When one thinks of the term, language snob, they most likely envision someone like David Ogden Stiers, as he portrayed Major Charles Winchester in the iconic television show, M*A*S*H. Not many would associate me with the term snob in any context; however, when it comes to word usage, I am completely, unrepentantly, and obnoxiously snooty.
That’s right, use the incorrect verb tense in a statement, an adjective in place of an adverb, the same word more than once within a paragraph, or mix points of view in a story (i.e. switching from 1st to 3rd person and back again), and just sit back to witness my fits of indignation. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has seen me (try to) read a badly written article in a newspaper or has watched me visibly wince as I switch off the radio because of a poorly scripted advertisement.
Now, here, is the uproariously funny part – I completely suck at grammar. I am even worse at spelling, and on top of all that, my typing skills are dreadful (I actually failed my HS typing class). I blame my abysmal memory, and my distinct dislike (disregard) for anything that is even closely related to a rule, as well as my complete lack of fine motor skills.
With all of those natural deficits (handicaps) you are probably wondering why on earth I actively choose to write,
It is quite simple, really – I adore playing with words to devise something, whether it is a piece that is utterly silly or intensely serious. The challenge of finding the perfect words and manipulating them to flow rhythmically and convey an emotion, concept, or experience is totally addictive. I occupy an absurd amount of time composing sections of blog posts, emails, website narratives, or grant proposals in my head while going about my daily life. And, then I, quite literally, spend hours composing, cutting and pasting, searching for the ideal synonyms, revising, editing, and, sometimes, after all that, deleting the entire thing and starting over. All of which would be perfectly insane, if I didn’t have so much fun in the process.
Writing and wordplay are pure pleasure – for me. I don’t need to be naturally good at every single bit of the craft to devise a (hopefully) well written piece. I can utilize an abundance of tools, available on any modern writing device, to make sure my grammar and spelling are (mostly) correct, all the while feeding my insatiable appetite for word-smithing. This is all true for any pursuit, and, one I convey to my students every day. Once you are able to verbalize what you are interested in and what you enjoy doing (at that moment in time), you can go out and immerse yourself. Search up the tools, whether it is people, written knowledge, or even YouTube videos that will provide you with the information to practice that particular skill. When you are finished with that objective, move onto the next – mastery is not necessarily the goal. Yes, it is absolutely okay to jump around from one fascination to another. How on earth will you find what lights your fire, if you are not open to trying anything, and, everything that holds even a hint of potential appeal? Join me; yes, I am inviting you to be a snob, too, in whatever field and for however long you would like. Become a connoisseur of fashion, foreign languages, farming, forestry, cooking, calculous, super-heroes, theater, music, manga, accounting, physics, biology, ecology, or psychology. Transform yourself into a social justice warrior, entrepreneur, fund-raiser, activist, or a poet. Indulge in your art. Do what makes you happy and then move on to the next thing that brings you delight. You too can create a successful, joyful, meaningful, and useful life within all of those moments of unadulterated snobbery.