There once was a girl who loved writing,


Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And found it could be quite exciting.

She jumped up from a log, and started a blog,

and she now has a forum worth citing.

Okay, so it’s NOT the best Limerick ever.

Today while scanning the pages of Freshly Pressed (and what WordPress blogger doesn’t?), I came across this delightful piece by Malinda Essex,Ph.D., entitled “Three Things I’ve Learned From a Month of Blogging.”   I’m sure you’ll want to go ahead and read Malinda’s post for yourself. Malinda took the opportunity of the milestone of her first month of blogging to reflect on what writing had meant to her.  She expounds upon how much she’s enjoyed the opportunity to write and the chance to have people read it and offer kind and insightful comments. Malinda’s post made me realize that there was a time when very few writers were able to get their words out to the world in a meaningful and accessible way. This thought so moved me that I posted the following comment to her blog:

There once was  time when those who loved to write could only get their works read if:
1.  They wrote letters to the editor or opinion columns for the local paper, and were lucky enough to get them chosen for publication.

2.  They became a published author.

3.  They wrote newsletters or other self-published missives that they sent out to the readers, who mostly felt obliged to read them.

But now, there’s blogging.

I remember a time when I hoped if I was a really good writer, and worked tirelessly at my writing in a garret, preferably one without heat or electric lights, then mailed my hard-written manuscript to dozens of publishers, that maybe, just maybe someday, my work would be published and someone besides the family and friends that I would force to read it, might actually, voluntarily read it. There is still the hope that someday I will write and have published an actual tome (by then it will probably only be an e-tome) but in the meantime,  I have blogging.

It seems that I never run out of things I want to write about, and love to have the opportunity to share them with others. And it seems that thousands of others, 336,812 as of today, by WordPress count, feel the same way. We’re fortunate to have an opportunity to share our words, even though we may never be officially chosen by an editor, agent or publisher somewhere, to be allowed to have our words read.

Writing is a way to share a tiny part of oneself,  without giving all of yourself away, and getting that tiny part back from the readers who comment, read and like. Just like Malinda, I appreciate every single reader who stops by to share a little part of themselves, and their words, with me. 

I  love this opportunity to share my writing with you, and feel fortunate to have it, without having to suffer in an unheated garret. I’ll keep going until I have nothing left to say, or until you all start begging me to stop. And in the meantime, I still have those two barely started novels, and one memoir on the back burner, nagging at me to come back to them soon. And I will although I probably won’t be moving to an unheated  garret!

Satire Friday: A Whole Regiment


Last photo of the 1st Battalion, The Duke of W...

Image via Wikipedia

 

“Regiment: a military unit of ground forces consisting of two or more battalions, a headquarters unit and supporting unit.” (1992, Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, p. 1134)

“Regime:  a mode or system of rule or government.” (Random House, p. 1134.)

“Regimen: a regulated course as of diet, exercise or manner of living, to preserve or restore health or to attain some result.” (Random House, p. 1134)

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of misuse of the word regiment. By the dieter as in “…I’ve been on a strict regiment of vegetables..” I picture rows of celery and lettuce, marching in lock-step with carrots and green beans. The athlete: “I’m on a strict weight-lifting regiment…” I see hand weights with caps and rifles, marching in formation across the gym. 

The same occurs with the word regime.  “The team is on a new practice regime.” “I’m losing weight on my new diet regime.” I’ve seen these grammar errors time and again – in print and in spoken media.

Of course, in the examples above, the speaker should have used the word regimen. So why do folks get these words mixed up all the time? This has been going on unchecked for a while, which possibly contributes to the misuse. If one hears the wrong word used and sees it repeatedly in print, one begins to think that regiment or regime really IS the correct word. Copy editors should be correcting the error in print media, but I don’t think we really have copy editors any more – just spell check. Our shorthand communication methods such as texting and Twitter no doubt contribute to word misuse and poor grammar as well.  The grammar police are no longer as active in this country as they once were. Sure, you see occasional bloggers, journalists and others like me who put out an article similar to this one, decrying the misuse of words and doesn’t anyone know how to speak in this country any more?

Some day when our civilization has died out, visitors from another world will arrive in large regiments. In excavating our civilization, they’ll no doubt put themselves on a strict regimen of reading our literary works and marveling at the decline of  our literary regime.