Saturday, January 02, 2010

On not being articulate

People assume that if you are a writer, you are articulate, but I have never been very fluent with words– that is, with precise words, long words, vocabulary words. I have always tended to expressive language, word pictures, a surprising word that, if I'm lucky, conveys what I want it to. People I think of as British-trained in universities and high style will write pages and fluent pages with the the perfect word, the great word, the most precise word. I love it when I know those words, and there was a time in my life when I kept elaborate lists of words as I learned them, but when I am precise and especially when I use big words, I am almost always wandering exuberantly in what feels like someone else’s arena.

I also have odd losses, of fairly common words, possibly psychological blanks as once a few years back I lost AUTISM for a week or two.

Technology is exacerbating the problem because I'm developing some new means of expression-- I can make web pages with pictures, for example, and I think some of my struggles with computers and html and now desk top publishing are cutting into my vocabulary developing spaces.

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