Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Killing That Which You Love

I love the English language. The way words can be manipulated and used to do whatever we want.

Both spoken and written. The way a pun or clever turn of phrase can turn a sentence utterly mundane into something amusing, hilarious even. True, some of it is down to cadence and timing, but it can make a huge amount of difference.

So why, exactly, do I butcher everything I write? Things that I manage to say quickly (sometimes with sufficient wit or glibness) fail to convey meaning when I get down to actually getting it down. Tautology is king in many pieces. Often I stumble over phrases that sounded great in my head, but written out look like verbal vomit. Phrases become strangled and overly complex or indecipherable. If a sentence is particularly long, I sometimes lose interest and stop it mid-way flow.

It's a mystery, and has created a fair few pickles.
I recommend The Economist's Style Guide (it's hilarious, as well as very informative).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Blog Added - Amderlin Chronicles

I've added yet another blog to my profile. This time, instead of being a forum for some sort of opinion, it's one where I shall post updates on my novels, and how they're coming along. Sometimes there will be teasers, questions, and so on.

Just in case you were interested.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Why is it that the culture in Britain calls for ridicule and scorn towards those who attended Private School? It's not as if they chose to go there - I know I certainly didn't. In fact, I remember locking myself in the car in a stupid attempt to avoid going! (Stupid because I forgot we were living in the time of car-door clickers, spoiling my revolutionary action somewhat, but no doubt the gesture was appreciated...)
I remember hating private school. I attended two - Port Regis and Marlborough College, and although I was too young to appreciate the hypocracies of the former, by the time I finished my A-Levels (well, considerably before that, actually) I could only hold Marlborough in contempt. The overwhelming fact that many could get away purely because they had parents willing to make vast donations, or parents on the board of governors made me want to strangle those who blatantly flaunted the system. It was clear that some teachers were equally irritated by the fact some kids were untouchable (in a sense, many still got the ever-present, freely doled out punishments - like blue chits (7:30am meeting with 2nd Master), pink chits (7:30am run), slippy chits (7:00am meeting with 2nd Master) and detentions (which means the same everywhere, so I shall not bore you with the details).
I heard tell of a big drugs' bust one summer - half were expelled (translation: swapped for other miscreants from within the private school system), while the other half were made prefects. The fact that no one seemed to notice is quite beyond me. And let's not forget our top scholar - the only shoe-in at Cambridge (my year was apparently famous for being the worst Marlborough had had in decades), who beat up his girlfriend and merely got a slap on the wrist.