I and I (18/June/18)

remember being six?…
six years old, when everything was new, exciting, even fantastical, novel and full of potential, a time before growing to discover everything turns to shit……
(I don’t doubt many will stop reading at this point…)
innocence is not to be underestimated, nor should it be equated with ignorance… innocence is a genuine naivety while ignorance is wilful, bloody-minded, self-delusion, often stubborn, and absolutely nothing to do with pigs but a well and truly human trait and frequently goes hand-in-hand with laziness, deceit and to some extent self-loathing with a dash of inferiority complex thrown in for good measure…… ignorance is a choice, innocence isn’t…. hence why a 6 year old can be excused some things, within reason, even though sometimes it can be decidedly frustrating in itself, with the very real defence of innocence, whereas there is no apology for ignorance, something grown-ups have in spades, some more than others, increasingly more some than others as this is the way the pendulum swings……
… expectations are low for a 6 year olds, in the main, leaving out for the moment the inevitable 18 year plan aspirational parents have for their unwary offspring, with the inherent tendency towards innocence but for adults these expectations grow accompanied by intolerance of ignorance  which adults all fall foul of one time or another while hoping trial and error sees us through, some clearly taking that on board better than others, increasingly leaving little wriggle-room for innocence which  can no longer be used as a justification under the ‘should know better’ rule based on the principle of having years, definitely more than six, to basically get your act together…… for better or worse we leave innocence behind, there’s little choice, sadly though it seems an increasing number replace it with ignorance evident in a daily parade of the grotesque which sadly has a trickle-down effect eroding the innocence of the child’s imagination which in so many cases become all-too soon subsumed in the ignorance of grown-ups….
… cynicism shouldn’t, per se, replace innocence but can in some cases be a worthy opponent to ignorance, or that’s my excuse anyway, though perhaps scepticism may prove a more effective tool… whatever, as they say, what do I know………

© 2018 robert greig

lingua-twang #2 (8/June/18)

…… and then there’s how I write and the different versions that come into play there… psst, this is a continuation of yesterday’s blog on how many different forms of English pepper my language… is when I write the same as when I speak?… daft question, clearly not… there may be some overlap and similarities undoubtedly and if I chose to make an accurate almost phonetic translation of normal everyday talking then it would look very different and probably near-impossible to read, tedious to say the least… this is why speeches read from written notes invariably sound odd because they aren’t natural and only actors with impeccable skill manage to pull off such feats… me, despite my years in pantomime and actually, yes, some serious acting, but that was another life, such a skill evades me…. so some of us feel more comfortable writing than speaking and as such in my case for certain my written English far from mirrors any spoken… again, almost a language within a language, although lately I’ve been writing so much I find my talking increasingly littered close to how I write, which probably explains why more and more I get peculiar looks from people….
writing has clear and invariably unequivocal gaps, pauses, punctuation, without going into it in any linguistic or sociolinguistic detail making each word an island, distinct, even the letters making each word and the phrases they express, all delineated in some way as to be unto themselves… as opposed to speaking….
…. speaking, when words collide in grammatical scrums, slipping and sliding as they do on an ocean of syntactic tectonics, all too often a disarray, a shambles, and in my case veritable calamities where the lips, teeth, tongue and larynx refuse to play nice and fall out with one another in a cacophony of nonsensicality… surely another form of English in itself… words become feral, untamed compared to when written on the page, uncooperative…. there’s a reason why the word onomatopoeic is such a pain in the ass to spell, such sounds are never the same twice when exploding or dribbling out of speech… and this is all without even touching on how the language changes according to any one of multifarious contexts, who you’re talking with, or too, or at, where, why, even when, being particular times of day you’re more likely to be fluent than others…… there’s drunk’ese, that’s particularly unpalatably annoying, drug’ese, unhappy’ese, jolly’ese (which can also be especially annoying), official-ese… … … … … … …
so, in a nutshell, what language do I speak?
the language of blahblahblatheryblahblatheryblatheryblatheryblah

© 2018 robert greig

lingua-twang #1 (7/June/18)

what language do I speak?
a good question… English?
most definitely, yes, in the broad sense….
even though it’s the only language I’m confident in, or as confident as I can be in anything which, psst, isn’t very, but actually it’s much more than just English, as though there were just the one English… there are languages within my English, within my accent, within my mood at any given moment, with whom I’m talking at the time, where I happen to find myself, even the topic of conversation…. not too forget dialect which some confuse with accent but clearly isn’t, and slang!… the two usually piggy-back but sometimes just swim parallel one another with occasional sideways glances… this is the way, fluidity at its most fluid, except when it isn’t and its viscosity thickens to absurdity… and another not to mention is the silences, integral and in many ways the glue that holds it all together… all this and actually more contribute to my ‘language’, my so-called English… my twang…. I have twang!… that’s good to know being it’s such an excellent word….
and it’s an English peppered with words not English, or are they?… depends on your definition of what constitutes an English word and more pertinently, what doesn’t… again fluidity at its most fluid, and evasive… there’s change in register, emphasis, there’s repetition, indeed plenty of that with me but not as much as I hear with other people who have so little imagination they tend to repeat themselves meaninglessly, but that’s another language tale…… and there are well-worn tag words and phrases, again for some people it’s virtually a verbal tick… and what about, what about (repetition!) all of those umms and aahs that ubiquitously litter most notably spoken discourse… there are a plethora of tricks and methods to wean you from them, inoculate you against their trips and stumbles and yet, and yet (repetition!) they are indicative, identifiable and integral to my English…
and then there is the gobbledegook, the nonsense words, the words or sounds or onomatopoeic jumble that can dribble anytime, anywhere during any conversation.. I think they lie in wait, waiting with mischief in mind hoping to catch you out just at that most embarrassing moment taking you as much by surprise as the listener(s)…… but it’s all part of my English, yours’ll be different even if we seemingly speak the same so-called language it will always be pockmarked with misunderstandings, lost meanings, dropped stitches, odd socks, uninvited burps……
… I just realised this is all getting a bit long-winded, will continue tomorrow, probably, if I remember or don’t get distracted by shiny things……

© 2018 robert greig