Friday Freedom Pt. 2

Okay … so “Friday Freedom Pt. 2” has nothing to do with “Friday Freedom.” Just throwing that out there. This “part 2” has to do with MY FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION in saying that “Grammarly” (at least the ads FOR “Grammarly”) bothers me … it actually “troubles” me. Now, I realize that my utilization of certain words and certain types of punctuation and WHY I utilize them in certain ways is not “everyone’s cup of tea:” the abundance of quotation marks, for example, but it is MY STYLE OF WRITING. If you remove style by focusing on technicalities (there is no way I know to write an algorithm that could possibly account for ANY “stylistic” subtleties … of course, I am far from a CS expert!), you are essentially taking something like Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” and having an automated music reader play it without crescendo / diminuendo, without the subtle changes in speed that are largely contingent on the player’s feelings regarding the piece, &c. &c. You can still end up hearing a “masterpiece” being played, but without a human player adding all the emotion that is absolutely necessary in such a piece, you are really missing out on what makes the song “ingenious” rather than just “very good.”

I also take issue with the “Grammarly” ads opening up by saying “WRITING IS HARD!” Writing is … hard?! Like … “Writing is difficult!” … like … use your own advice, “Grammarly!” And honestly if writing is so hard, you should probably take more classes “in it;” if you happen to be a writing major or an English major and find yourself needing the “assistance” of “Grammarly,” I would say you have either chosen the wrong field or make a general comment about the declining state of “higher education” in this country (I cannot speak to higher ed. in other countries!).
At any rate, I just needed to get that off my chest! These ads are prolific and every time I look at a screen it seems as if they bombard me with their calls to curb “run-on sentences” and the “passive voice.” As a writer, I LOOK TO UTILIZE BOTH THESE THINGS FOR VERY SPECIFIC REASONS – and the truly GREAT writers of the past have done so as well! Look at so many of the “classics” from the early 1900s to after the “Great War” and see how very specific choices about punctuation, vocabulary, tone, and even white space were made in order to make the reader FEEL a specific way. Again, I do not know how one would write an algorithm to do that … and really, isn’t “voice” all we really have anyway? For writers, that voice is expressed through understanding language well enough to know how and when to break the rules … and to what end. I just cannot see how a program could (at least for NOW) ever get to that level of cognizance and mastery. We cannot make writing into a “science” just as we can’t make art or music or acting into sciences. We can EXPERIMENT with doing so, but again, that’s just another twist of utilizing words to OUR intention and advantage. AT ANY RATE …

I hope you all are having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world! I did write some “Friday” posts late last night if you haven’t see them already! If you haven’t read them, please take a few minutes and do so – it really does mean the world to me!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and my other posts – I will be back later regarding CHRONIC ILLNESS, so stay tuned! And remember …

“My mother is a fish.” (Well gee, would you look at the word play JUST in the title!)

❤ Always, Beth


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