Now, I’m not an English major, but I do love the English language. In high school, I learned to write in what my Journalism teacher called “down style.” Later, I learned to write business style, and then government style. Over the years, my writing became flatter and flatter, or fifty shades of grey.
In between the job experiences, I learned how to write abstruse research papers during my years in graduate school. As a result, I have a whole shelf of books on writing which I never read or refer to anymore. Shrunk and White, the Chicago Manual of Style, back and forth. Every professor and boss I ever worked for had a different preference. I must have a half-dozen volumes of Skunk and White, the preferred reference for many. Yes, I know it is Strunk and White, but I thought of it differently.
After years of having every line I wrote edited beyond recognition, and every creative drop drained from my soul, I don’t know what style I use today, one of the joys of being an elder blogger.
Yesterday, Linda at Retirement Daze wrote about aspects of English usage that drive her into a fit of pique:
Your post reminded me of a pet peeve. I have for years now often been dismayed by the so-called writing of some supposedly literate people who cannot seem to choose the correct homophones. I know this irritation is minor compared to the level of literacy you were discussing, but come on, shouldn’t a newspaper columnist know , for example, that a “steward” of resources is not a “stewart” and that the cliché is to “pique” someone’s interest, not “peek” or “peak” it? I am picky and grumpy.