Friday, 24 July 2015
Holster that pen... you scoundrel.
Use short sentences, they uttered. Long sentences are a no-no, they said. And speak so a two year old can comprehend your dribble, they slyly added, as you fell in step. You looked at their many acolytes on Twitter, internet jet-set, and you dared not use that excellent word you'd saved to spread.
90% of communication, it is posited, is non-verbal. That is, it is not said. If you actually write as you speak, no one will understand a word that your heart's depths truly said. You can use emoticons all you want in a lover's text. Professional writing, however, should carry its own mood, and through nuance, and word choice, subtly show your truth.
Perhaps an example would convince you instead?
"The hunter and his acolyte crouched in ambush. Before them, the corpse-to-be, a young woman, casually walked. She floated joyously upon the road, as she softly strolled home in a yellow and black polka-dot dress. There'd be red polka-dots, below her throat, and upon her chest. A fashion crime she'd die with, the hunter and his acolyte both later said. Her shadow stretched, fleeing her form, as she walked naively to her killers, who meted out her death."
Or shall I write that as some-of-you'd no doubt speak?
"This guy, so, like, he and his pal, they are like serial killers, dude, and like, like, they attacked a woman, and killed her by the woods. Eish man, Yslike. Life is too short, man. You know what I'm saying?"
To be honest, I don't. You have communicated just ten percent of it, if that, and without enough information, most people will not feel too overly moved.
The pen might be mightier than the sword, but not in the hands of those who'd typically resort to a bullet or a blade. Good writing is learnt, an art lies in great literary words. Upon the page, with black and white, you can pen a watercolour, or the iciest snows.
Yes, I have used more words than these online language gurus have, but the words created such an image in your mind that you could swear you were there. You felt close to the victim. You feared for her life, your heart as heavy with dread, though you were not that poor innocent she. You perhaps felt vomit creeping up your throat, and sensed it, as she lost eternal control of hers.
Short sentences? A staccato effect. They have a place.
Better, though, is to gauge each word you write. Consider the image it paints, how words can cause an emotional and intellectual effect. Big words like acolyte, or thunderbolt, can be dynamite upon the page, if the context is correct. The studies where people thought users of big words were stupid had a nuance to them. The larger words were used where smaller words were good for the running. They added nothing to the sentences, no rhyme, no rhythm, no empty things hidden.
Short sentences, used for suspense, are good. Overuse, has another effect. Our working memories are only so big. That is why shorter sentences, and simpler words, these days, are so big. Reference, and another big word, allusion, however, turn a single word into an entire library of books. They, and the odd adjective, not only convey emotion, they make you feel it just the same. The mightiest pen convinces, as a killer's blood-soaked-murderous-blade never could. The difference between an amateur and a writer lies in how they choose to write. Sentences come naturally to a writer, through the shear volume of their extensive written work. Practice sometimes perfects, it can be said.
The next time you write a text, tweet, or something indiscreet, try to write without emoticons or slang. Attempt a game where you never use the same word twice. Paint a picture with your use of phrase. With practice, and a handy pocket dictionary, your future writing might cause some surprise, hopefully of the best kind... prayerfully that, and not something utmost worse - a study in wrong use of words, those sacred, sometimes ill-gotten, things.
Who is Marc Evan Aupiais?Attorney; Writer; Enthusiast of Germanic, Celtic, & Romance languages, with a love of exploring law, speech, legal systems, linguistics, sociology, & int. news.
I have always been fascinated with the law. By chance, it happens to be my field. I am an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, as of 28 January 2016.
It was my fellow students' suggestions, in the final years of school, that I might be suited to a career in law, along with long discussions with a friend of mine - which imbued me with a keen interest in the history, language, and laws of the Roman Empire - that made me realise that law was the choice of career that best suited the ideas and plans I had for the future. I enrolled in an LLB degree at Wits University and subsequently graduated Bachelor of Laws a few years later.
I completed, with distinction, the Law Society's Legal Education and Development (L.E.A.D) School for Legal Practice program. I am pleased to have had the privilege of having served at two very different firms during my articles, giving me a much broader experience of work in the profession.
I believe success requires not just hard work, but intelligence, perseverance, humility, integrity, ingenuity, diligence, a strong work ethic, and the courage to request the assistance of those better-versed in a matter, or field.
I am passionate about the place of my birth, South Africa and am proud to be a patriot and citizen of this diverse and beautiful nation. I consider myself a global citizen and keep connections in a number of different nations across the world. Communicating with people from other cultures, I believe, has aided me to have a more open-minded approach in so far as how I see and interact with the world.
The cultures and legal systems, morals, and courtesy systems, languages, intricacies and religions of South Africa and of the world, are subjects I love to research. I extensively enjoy reading and writing, and in keeping abreast with important events occurring in other countries, I find my knowledge of other languages, especially French, to be quite useful.
Law & Career
Law firms I have worked at include: DL Wilson Attorneys in Randburg North, Desmond Barry Attorneys in Morningside, Sandton, Botha & Sutherland Attorneys in Aukland Park, Johannesburg. I currently work as a Consulting Attorney for Serina Govender Inc. Attorneys-at-Law. My professional website will tell you more about me, where you might want to subscribe to my professional blog . I also edit and write for the SACNS, write breaking news for a multinational service called InfosNews Breaking News, and act as a correspondent for the popular french language Les News service.
Novels I have written include
A Lesser Instinct | My first foray into the world of long form fiction.
Read it without payment - on Scribd.
Podcasting and YouTube
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