Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Have you heard...? No.

Should I be worried that I'd rather read an article about grammar in the Times rather than one about the Illinois scandal?

Frankly, I'm not. I realize it's not good if I don't know what's going on in the world, but I'd rather read about something toward which I'm passionate rather than something that I couldn't care less about.

I'm a live-in-the-moment person. I don't do well planning things too far ahead of time. When I do, things fall through because I forget that I planned them. If something doesn't affect me now, I don't have any strong motivation to care. I find out whether I got into my dream college tomorrow, but I don't know right now, so I psychologically cannot deal with it right now. You could say it hasn't hit me yet.

It's like that with current events. Sorry, I don't live in Illinois. I realize that there's something called the Ripple Effect and somehow it could affect me in a crazy, indirect way, but from reading headlines headlines, which exist to draw attention, I decide that I can't relate, so it's off my mental radar.

Grammar is something I really care about. I think it's just plain sad that people can't spell and the like. Sometimes it's funny, yes. English Fail does a good job of pointing out the hilarity in mistakes, but obviously someone was just as annoyed as I was to create that website in the first place (actually I know the person who created it... ha). So yes, just the word "grammar" in a headline draws my attention. I'm proud of that.

It comes from personal experience. I can't tell you the number of times my English teacher has asked our class why a piece is good and the response is "because it's relatable." I'm guilty of saying that myself. But everything written is meant to be relatable, well-written or not. We're communicating through writing. Communication must be relatable to be understood at all. But if someone says it's good because it's relatable, we know, obviously, that it was relatable to the student who said that. Score one for the author: he achieved his goal with one reader. It's not what makes writing good, but it's what makes us like it. Twilight is relatable, but it's not good (personal opinion).

I like headlines that I can instantly relate to. That's why I read the articles to which they belong.

By the way, my spellcheck is telling me that "relatable" isn't a word. I don't care.

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