Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Chastened, but unabashed

Ah, controversy. It gets the old heart pumping and the blood pressure up. It makes people write letters to the editor or to their senator, and sometimes it inspires comments on an otherwise mildly entertaining blog.

I thought I had established my credentials as a tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek kind of blogger. I acknowledge that I write fiction. You know… made-up stuff.

An example is that poem I wrote about seeing the Devil in my front yard. I hope none of you believed THAT! What Satan REALLY said was that Texas was almost as hot as Hell. And I made up that “Hades Index;” our local paper doesn’t really report our temperatures as a percentage of Hell’s.

Also, a few weeks back I made a bad pun about “propaganda.” Then I pretended that “linguini” was the plural of “linguist.” (That actually makes sense, if you think about it. I mean “alumni” is the plural of “alumnist,” right? “Literati” is the plural of “literature.” “Illuminati” is the plural of “illumination,” or sometimes of “light bulbs.”)

You see? I’m very good at words and word origins. That’s one reason I decided to be an English major.

Oh, and I don’t want ANY of you to believe my daughter Christina’s comments on yesterday’s post. You know, her claiming that she was taken in by my little joke about “sillibance” being real? Nah! She’s been around me far too long to believe anything I say. She’s WAY too smart to think that “sillibance” could possibly be a real word, despite Google finding it in 8 different locations around the net. She’s was just helping me create some controversy by pretending to be fooled. She even (you’ll laugh at this…) sent me an email demanding a public apology for fooling her in public, so to speak! Ha, ha. Oh, Christina, that was a funny one!

Anyway, back to word origins. I started this post with a comment about controversy; an interesting word in its own right (rite?). “Con” or “contra” of course, means “against.” “Versy” is a plural form of “verse.” So “controversy” is a clearly a negative impression concerning poetry, or someone who HAS such a negative impression.

Once I understood that, I came to realize why so many of the comments on this blog are controversial. My readers don’t like poetry.

Now, this may be a subconscious bias, but it seems clear from both the content of the comments, and the context. (“Content” describes someone who doesn’t like camping. “Context” describes someone who doesn’t like the written word.)

Tomorrow I may continue along this line of thought. Or not. (“Continue” describes someone who doesn’t like tin ewes. Tin ewe dig it?)

3 comments:

VikiBabbles said...

You seem to get a lot of demands for public apologies. Is that telling you anything?

I hope it's telling you that you should keep doing what you're doing, because it's good to get people's ires up once in a while. If someone doesn't get our ires up at least once a day, we get crabby.

I should remove that last sentence, shouldn't I? Ah, no.

Robin said...

Have you Richard Lederer's book "Crazy English"? You would sincerely enjoy it.

Christina said...

"I acknowledge that I write fiction. You know… made-up stuff."
While this may be true, it is not a valid excuse why someone, maybe even your own daughter, should think that EVERYTHING you write is untrue! You have written a number of posts on this very blog that are non-fiction. Including the infamous unemployment hearing saga. Even your fiction novel is based on the true story. The upside here is that you are such a convincing writer that even your own daughter can't always tell if you are bulls***ting. Lantz should be impressed. But now you are resorting back to puns, bad puns. I don't know...