Thursday, July 5, 2012

Knowing Just Enough to be Dangerous

Each month, I pick up a local free magazine at my local library.  It sometimes has articles that interest me.  This month, there was an article on a topic I wanted to know more about.

I started to read the article.

Then, something happened that had never happened before.

I looked again at the first paragraph.  "Too long", I thought to myself. "Why did she use that word to describe that person?" I asked myself.

My reaction to the next paragraph surprised me even more. "That's one long paragraph!"  I started to count the sentences.  I got to 30 sentences and then I stopped.  The paragraph was continuing, stretching out into the distance like one of those rolling written descriptions at the beginning of certain movies.

What was I doing?  Wasn't I supposed to be reading this article for pleasure?  Why was I trying to edit it?

That 30 plus sentence paragraph totally distracted me.  Only with a burst of willpower was I able to return to the article and finish it.

This is not a literary magazine I am blogging about.  This magazine contains articles written by certain business owners in a certain category of business, hoping they will attract business by describing their services.

I have arrived somewhere new.  Where I am, I don't know.  There was this Author Blog Challenge I participated in last month.  There was so much to read, and I haven't been able to catch up.  But on a subconscious level, I must have absorbed something.

And now I know just enough to be dangerous.

I don't have enough knowledge for this new place.  I've forgotten some of the parts of speech.  I can't remember what a participle is.  Last month, my sister in law had to explain to me what a gerund is.  (I've since forgotten and now will have to look it up.)  I wonder if I am putting my periods in all the wrong places. I tap dance around "lay" vs. "lie"..  I dread the day when the Grammar Police visit my blog, and close it down.

So what am I doing mentally editing someone else's article?

Is this how it begins?  Will I lose my love of reading as I become aware of every flaw in someone's writing?  Will I have to take the next step of (gulp) having someone criticize and edit my work?

Do I want this?

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.



2 comments:

  1. "I have arrived somewhere new. Where I am, I don't know. There was this Author Blog Challenge I participated in last month. There was so much to read, and I haven't been able to catch up. But on a subconscious level, I must have absorbed something.

    And now I know just enough to be dangerous."

    Speaking of which, my spouse suggested that I seek the advice of the awesome gardener. Gene showed me the day lillies in the front garden. Providing I build a flower garden enclosure in the front yard, would you consider sharing some of those beautiful flowers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just might. Would you like some hostas, too?

      Delete

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