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Random Musings
Journal: March 10, 2009 
10th-Mar-2009 08:51 am
I find that as I grow older some basic skills begin to deteriorate.

Especially with things like penmanship and basic writing proficiency. Use of the internet (esp. IM) and working in a technical profession has done a great deal of damage in these areas. It’s also compounded by the fact that I don’t read books much anymore. It's my own fault really.

Did I really used to devour books when I was young? I remember going through several hundred pages in one sitting if it was a really interesting one. My sister would complain that a bomb could go off beside me and I wouldn’t notice. Sadly, I only manage one or two books per year now. I thought that with the air traveling that I do, I would be able to read on the plane but I only have enough energy to read light, fluffy, non-mind-challenging magazines. I really should make more of an effort.

I’m doing virtually all of my writing on the computer now, both at work and for personal things. When I journal, its on the computer. Ditto any letter/card writing. The state of my penmanship is really shocking. The way it looks like on the page reminds me of when I first started practicing writing in school. It’s very sad looking. I print a lot more now when I want to write something legible.

And don’t get me started on spelling and grammar. I really used to love being a wiz at spelling and word games. Used to beat everyone when I was in school. I’d be able to look at a word and instinctively tell if it was spelled right. Now, I look a it and look at it…and rely on a spell-checker, which is not fool-proof by any means. And I approach word games using analysis rather than language skills.

The computer and work is a real culprit. Using short-cuts, short-forms and point form is my main form of communication now. It does terrible things to grammar and good writing.

I am trying to reclaim my language skills. It’s one of my motivations for writing. I really must start reading again.

Well, that’s it for today.

Twin Souls
(Deleted comment)
10th-Mar-2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
graphite writing stick


It's that darned 'puter. It's the devil's tool...
(Deleted comment)
10th-Mar-2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
10th-Mar-2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
As someone who's never been any good at word games, or spelling, I love spell checkers. And Firefox has a built in UK dictionary for me.
10th-Mar-2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Word games is a good way to keep up word skills. I love the online version of Scrabble on Facebook.
10th-Mar-2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
You do all that writing, and you don't read? I was like you as a kid--I read six books a week and I had no idea what was going on around me--but now I'm down to about two or three. I love my fiction, and have to have it. It's my great release from RL, when I can forget myself and immerse myself in another world.

It's also wonderful for a writer; one absorbs techniques and feeling for language without even realising it. Mind you, it does cut down on writing time. ;-)

What sorts of books did you read? I think you'd love Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series with its spaceships, politics, and issues of identity.
10th-Mar-2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
I loved scifi and fantasy when I was young and I still do. But as I grew older, I began to really love mysteries. I love things that challenge the mind and are well written. I love books that show that the writer has put a lot of thought into the characters by making them multi-dimensional and follow some kind of development.

Edited at 2009-03-10 09:35 pm (UTC)
10th-Mar-2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Then you might enjoy Peter Wimsey or Albert Campion stories. I'm reading the last Wimsey novel right now.
10th-Mar-2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yes I love those. I've read all the Wimsey ones. Am slowly making my way through the Campion ones but those are hard to find in bookstores for some reason.
10th-Mar-2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
They are! My libray mo longer seems to stock them, and the Wimseys are a mix of ancient and falling apart (like this one) and new paperback editions.
10th-Mar-2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
I was lucky to get all the Wimsey ones (brand new too!) on Amazon. They do have the Campion ones but not a complete set and they tend to be piecemeal at different vendors and the prices and conditions vary.
10th-Mar-2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
I read too many books to buy them, and besides, freight doubles the cost for me. I only buy books I know I will read again, or want to consult often.
10th-Mar-2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, freight is a killer. If I can get them from a place on this continent, I might consider getting the Campion ones too. I don't buy books much anymore. When I do, I either pass them on when I'm done or donate them to the library. I've gotten quite a few of the Terry Pratchett ones that way.
11th-Mar-2009 07:29 am (UTC)
I know what you know about penmanship. I really only use pens to make quick notes and annotations ... nothing that has to be read by others.

I went to write a letter last night ... and it looked like chook-scrawl. I had to re-draft it.
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