Monday, January 5, 2009

Thought for the Week 1/4/09

"HE WHO CARVES HIMSELF TO SUIT OTHERS WILL SOON WHITTLE HIMSELF AWAY."

Well, I'm back in the cave working on my next book. Writing a book takes a ton of time. I mean, there are all these words. And not just any words. They have to make sense and whatnot.

So once again I have to risk disappointing other people by making my work a priority. I read somewhere that no one ever lies on their deathbed wishing they'd worked more, but I don't think that's necessarily true for artists. Of course, I don't know how I'd really react to a life-threatening illness, but I think I'd be pissed I didn't write more.

I also don't know whether someone lies or lays on their deathbed, though I do know using "their" for the singular is incorrect, but I use it because I really loathe "he/she." Not in the transgender way, of course. I have no problem with them. Find them quite fascinating actually. In fact, some trannies prefer the newly fashioned pronoun "ze" as an alternative to "he" or "she" and "zer" for "him" or "her."

I like the idea, but it still feels awkward to me. Better that all just wake up wake up one morning and start using it at the same time. Then we can say things like "No one ever lies on zer deathbed wishing ze'd worked more." Of course, I'd be inclined to speak the whole sentence in a French accent, which would certainly make me laugh all day. Yet another reason to try it.

There are other choices. Like "yo."

YO WHO CARVES YOSELF TO SUIT OTHERS WILL SOON WHITTLE YOSELF AWAY.

Sure, it's not sexist, but you sound like you're auditioning to play Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

Anyway, I meant to write about the meaning of this week's thought, not the grammar, but that's where my mind went and I've learned to follow it where it leads me. And not worry about what others think when I do.

Which is the point of this week's thought.

9 comments:

Jill Murray said...

I read that they revised the rules on "their" so you can use it your way now. I don't know who They is or why we should listen, but that's where its at.

Fran said...

Let your muse lead you and give a big fat raspberry to anyone who tries to derail you with negativity. Bah to them and kudos to you!

New book new book new book!

Kate said...

I agree that unlike "normal people" many "artists" do lie on their death beds wishing they worked more. My uncle was a successful artist who passed away about six weeks ago. In the last year of his life, while he was suffering from cancer, he created 56 new pieces. He openly expressed regret during the final days of his life that he was unable to get all of his ideas out.

So go ahead and be anti-social. You will appreciate it when you are old and decrepit.

therese said...

A great thought and good musing on it because words are a dynamic life form of communication and without change to suit the need of thought, words can be trapped in a language soon to be dead. Which would suck for storytellers.

knitandnosh said...

Thank you!

maria said...

Dear Marc Acito;

I have been a fan for a long time, am in your mailing list, but not in your followers list, or in the fellow bloggers list, as I dont want to be easily reachable by people I dont know.
There used to be a place, where the followers and the fellow bloggers are now, where one could select entries for previoud days, and the commentaries.
I can´t find these old entries anywhere now.

¿ Could you have them reinstated?. At least until you publish them in a book. I suppose putting the comments in book for would be difficult, as you would have to ask permission of everyone involved, and I doubt some people, like "the angry mom" would be happy about it.

Hope you and Floyd have a great 2009!!!

maria said...

Previous (not previoud), And book Form (not book for).
Sorry

Marc Acito said...

Use the drop-down "Blog Archive" menu on the right hand side of the page, just below the followers. Everything's still there.

Anonymous said...

Reading this was such a welcome moment of calm; thank you. Will I seem crass, now, if I address the lie/lay conundrum? At the risk of doing so, it's this: 'lie' is intransitive, or whatever -- it's what things do. 'Lay' requires an object. So, you lay a book on the table, but the book lies on the table. Thanks for letting me address my biggest grammatical pet peeve. And for making me laugh. And think.