I love how clean my phone’s auto correct keeps me. In a particularly heated text I wrote how I had ducked up despite working my ads off.
Yeah, I’m not proud of writing those things in the first place, but it got me thinking about how easy it is to misinterpret things in oral conversation.
As a speech coach, I stress articulation, enunciation and pronunciation. Even how we say a word evokes different feelings from our listeners. Throw in a smirk on your face and your hands crossed over you chest and the words “You’re absolutely right” take on a whole new meaning. The spoken language can be tricky in all its nuances.
But so can writing. At least verbally, we can gauge a speaker’s true meaning by body language, facial expressions and vocal inflections. All of these are absent on paper. Which means that writers need to be hyper vigilant about how they present their information.
So, do me a favor, work your ads off and don’t duck up a great story with poor writing. Pay attention to whether your true message comes across to your readers the way you want it to, or whether you need a bit more clarification to make things rock!
As a kid I loved playing Mad Libs with my sister and friends. The silly party game could be why I enjoy writing so much. It might also be responsible for my love of lyrical prose and my inability to outgrow quirky juvenile fiction. It quite possibly is the reason so much description creeps into first drafts these days.
But I’m not here to bash adverbs and adjectives. I’m here to tell you a secret. Spell Check plays Mad Libs with me every time it edits my posts.
For instance, my post on Youngest getting into a playground scuffle? SC wanted to substitute trousers for tusslers:
…the two trousers made see-ya-at-school-tomorrow faces at each other.
Seriously funny stuff, right? Not to mention a-w-k-w-a-r-d!
Or how about this one? (You may need to click on it to see it better.)
Yeah, it kinda cracked me up too. SC insisted that marinating is not a word and begged me to exchange it for laminating…or worse.
My Little Sister cheekily donned her editor’s cap and fixed my post so I wouldn’t be embarrassed about my manuscript marinating in public.
Spell Check Mad Libs. Gotta love it!
Did you play Mad Libs as a kid? What other silly games did you play to occupy your time and stretch your imagination? Do you think certain games may have jump-started the passions and hobbies you have today?
Curious minds want to know!
*”My Dream Man” from The Original Mad Libs, copyright 1988