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Having fun with language

Via Ta-Nahisi Coates, check out this awesome video about the strict adherence to the rules of language vs. just having fun with words. This really resonated with me since I put a lot of time into my writing but often get hung up on the specific rules. The key question is: "Did you understand what I was saying?" Of course, this is a bit different for speaking vs. writing. The written word lasts a long time and often doesn't have the person there to help out with meaning, when needed. There's no chance for a "huh?" followed by a quick clarification when someone reads your paper 10 years after its publication.

The problem for me is that my attention to detail in my technical writing too often spills over into my daily conversations, which has a tendency to make me trip on my words when I get self-conscious about the pronunciation of a word or the phrasing of a sentence. I also correct people too frequently. Just ask Erin about how I can be a stickler for misplaced modifiers. So this video was good for me to watch. I don't want to be one of those people who blanches at creative wordsmithing simply because it's new and I don't like it (did you like how I verbed the hell out of the noun "wordsmith"?).


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