Perfectionism

When reviewing my article “I am a Writer”, I noticed something written at the end. I question you if your writing is perfect.

What does “perfect” mean?

Is there even such a thing?

The point of communication is to, well, communicate. So, if through punctuation and proper enunciation of words the message is delivered… did communication occur? Would this mean that following the written language rules is unnecessary, so long as the efforts result with a clear channel of understanding. Now I could reference all these fancy textbooks I have read, and giving credit to my local College (now University!) for the training and guidance I received while paying tuition and other related expenses of higher education; I will save you the academic rigor and jargon. Quite simply consider:

If a goal of communication is understanding, does it really matter how we get there?

Does “perfect” always have to mean following the rules set forth? Now, we could say the rules are there for a reason, or because they are true. I give credit to the notion that organization functions better than chaos, but that is only when there is a goal to be achieved. Wouldn’t you say chaos can be really fun sometimes, maybe the unpredictability is refreshing.

Here is another quest for you, take notice of the words people could have said but didn’t. As a writer (or reader) do you think you know where something is going but it’s not as expected? Does this make you a better writer, sidestepping the obvious and choosing the unusual presentation of your idea because maybe, just maybe, that is part of the message itself?

Notice the details, are they intentional? I hope my readers don’t view my work as careless or sloppy, quite the contrary… provoking thought is my goal. Read along as we explore. examine. everything.

Next stop: tbd

Awkward Moments

photo credit: Shandi-lee / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

This is awkward

So here we are, sitting at a table with some lovely ladies at my husbands church. I had been invited to join them for a women’s conference and dinner. We are all chatting, vying for airtime, trying to be humorous and most of these jokes are centering around our role as mothers and wives. One question is posed about baby showers. Do you have one for every baby? Or just for each gender? Or just one? So the friend who asks the question makes a comment, “I mean, seriously, what do you buy someone who already has 4 kids?”

I cofidently blurt out “A noose!” Well, two of the dignified ladies almost spit their food out in sudden laughter because I am sure they were quite surprised that this not-yet-member of their church is daring enough to say something so absurd… and it obviously hit their funny bone. The other two, gave me the most polite dirty look I have ever seen and remained silent for the next 10 minutes or so.

Oops.

So what is the right thing to do here? Do we apologize for our words? It was obviously well-received by half the table, and if my vote counts- that makes a majority. Should I have said something apologetic in quiet to the ladies who were unaccepting of my radical joke while I was in their modest setting? Well, I of course did the casual ‘forget I said that’ hand wave- and the “I’m just kidding, just kidding, just a joke, just kidding” sidestep.

Well, that was an awkward moment.