I can damage a car by taking a rock and smashing the window, or damage a person's reputation by saying things that are untrue.
One of the worst things we can do is damage our writing and lose our readers (and even friends/acquaintances) simply because of poor writing skills. And talk about leaving us scratching our heads wondering wtf?!?!?!
I will freely admit, I sometimes suck at writing. Putting my thoughts on paper can sometimes be confusing. I have brain farts, and for the life of me, get stuck trying to pull one word out of my brain.
Other times, my fingers fly across the screen, then I spend an hour 'fixing' it. And even worse, it's been over 15 years since I've been in school to re-edumacate myself on the ways of talking on paper properly to get my point across.
Writing online can and often causes heated debates, not because of what is posted (ie horrid dom/sub stories, my kink that isn't your kink, random thoughts about something, and so on) but 'how' it is written and the choice of words used.
Words combined together tactfully are powerful and they can cause a whole slew of emotions to the reader if the writer is good at what they do. Or bad at it.
I took a Business Communications course some time ago, paid attention during some classes and I think I may have slept through a few too. Nouns, adjectives, adverbs...like I can remember the meaning some days let alone combine them all together on a good morning to communicate properly. Ugh. We won't touch on spelling and grammar (shudder). Frankly, some days I just don't care; other days I get the eye twitch.
Oh please don't let this be an education on verb usage, grammar and spelling bees!!! Nah, I'll save that for some of my sessions.
I bet you are wondering what does this have to do with kink? Well, um, everything really.
Everything we write online is open for debate; for understanding, enlightening, educating, questioning/providing facts, and yes, even arguments depending on how a person writes a piece. And it's not just blogs, or discussion boards or the journals, emails, chats, but also random comments we put on the feeds.
We judge (def: To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration) based on words alone. Why? Because that is all we have of a writer to go on. I might very well know what I 'intend' to say, but if I fail in getting my point across to a reader, I haz haters! It's as simple as that.
Then I'm left scrambling to clarify what I SHOULD have said in the first place, because someone read into my writing with a different mindset and called me on it.
Our words can destroy a relationship, even ones we had no intention on destroying. I find the smaller words have the most power, cause I read a great deal and see patterns most of the time. But that's just me.
By smaller words, I mean the following:
All - When this word appears, we have now committed the entire planet to whatever statement we make.
Ex: All these men are pigs. See what I mean?
A better example would be: Certain men are pigs. (then listing the type that falls under this category would be appropriate for an explanation/clarification to the reader).
The vs My - Making the mistake of using 'the' (especially with 'we' somewhere in the sentence), when talking about something that I do or think, suddenly makes ME out to be an asshole and a know-it-all, or worse that what I wrote means that this is carved in stone with no flexibility. And some people will jump all over my hole to make my ass bigger while reaming it over with 'facts' and THEIR way of doing it.
Ex:, The tradition of collaring is blah blah. (Yes, I'm taking this from one of my last writings, which was an epic failure in so many ways I won't go into. lol).
A better example would be: I've read alot, spoken with many, and I took from it certain things, so now MY tradition of collar is blah, blah, blah.
"The" seems to mean that there is no other way, no flexibility, or law (to some) that we can't sway from. And some people will not like it at all if someone else tells them what to do.
You and We - Eeek! She's writing about me and bitching again! How dare she say I am included in what she just said! (jaw drop in disgust)
And now I'm going in for the kill bitch!!! Need I say more? Watch those words!!
There are a few more, but we can all come up with examples I'm sure.
Can we take back damaging words? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
If I say the right thing in the first place properly and watch 'how' I word things, I won't need to.
But remembering even the above can certainly help in reducing the hurt/pain/confusion/anger that I didn't intend to induce in the first place.
(Originally posted July 2013)