[personal profile] lhexa

Though it might destroy my respectability forever, I must admit that I have envied those who speak with the broken grammar and quick slang found throughout the Internet. This manner of speaking is expressive in a way that's beyond my ability; it has a limpidity that is the natural opposite of my own opacity. I'm not insincere enough to try to emulate the style, though I've seen many people do it to good effect; besides, I get the feeling I'd have to scour away my command of English before I could get close. If you think I'm simply being contentious, consider the observation I made recently, that a specific person who writes in this way online, is, in person, far more articulate than I am.

I can write with eloquence, but its usefulness to me has clear bounds. (I tend not to like columnists and essayists, since, more often than not, they say eloquently what isn't worth saying.) However, I have problems with expressiveness. Though I haven't read them yet, I venture that some of the comments to my recent posts are based on mistaken impressions of the emotions conveyed therein. In fact, I can only think of one LJ entry to date whose purpose was to express (and document) a mood. It took several paragraphs. My penchant for eloquence over expressiveness was far more severe in the past, though. The worst example of it was a three thousand word email which failed at its purpose, when a simple "I'm angry at you" would have succeeded. Given my recent self-training in expressiveness, which has come such a long way, I ask myself: why do you remain so focused on understanding style?

a theory

Date: 2005-12-15 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holophote.livejournal.com
Expressiveness hinges on what's in between the words, I think. The limpidity comes from leaving space for the reader to read in their own emotions; the more painstakingly accurate the language becomes, the harder it is to discern the subtext.

Or to put it another, more metaphysical way: things obscure relationships.

Re: a theory

Date: 2006-01-03 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com

(I mean something different by it.)

The Elements Of Geek Style

Date: 2005-12-15 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holophote.livejournal.com
As long as we're talking Internet, of course, the use of emoticons helps (ugh! not emoticons! I hear you say).

In recent posts, I've used the generic smiley as a light exclamation point, :D as a heavier exclamation point, and :> to indicate wry humor. My favorite, 'big eyes' (represented graphically as n.n), registers surprise, embarassment and deference all at once... which is quite a trick to get across using words...

Re: The Elements Of Geek Style

Date: 2006-01-03 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
Both of your replies touch on the question of why I write, and what it is I write in this journal. I may be bad at expressiveness, but it also has little place. Anyway, I'd love to talk about your specific points in real-time... do you have a good block of time, this week?

Re: The Elements Of Geek Style

Date: 2006-01-03 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holophote.livejournal.com
No worries. I've come to like your poetic style of journaling a great deal, even when some of the writing is opaque to me.

I'm on AIM right now. Also, my stomach has been feeling better, which is a big yay :)

Re: The Elements Of Geek Style

Date: 2006-01-03 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
Which was... while I was at work. :P

We really need to schedule them. Not precisely, just the date and general time... because when school starts, I'll be gone most of the time.

Er, why did my eyes slide over the compliment? Thank you greatly... it reminds me of something Cavell said about Thoreau, but I'll leave the self-flattery where it is.



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