De rigueur, par for the course, etcetera

April 18th, 2013  |  Published in Writing

Now while I (along with most baby boomers I suspect) don’t like to admit I’m getting older, I certainly do not consider myself to be getting ancient. And yet, generation X, Y, and whatever the next lot call themselves, may well be correct if they perceive my fumbling with day-to-day 21st Century technology as being old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy. I mean, just look at the language I use! But there again, words themselves can be fickle, as they ebb and flow with generational and societal change …

Of course, one comes across unfamiliar computer-based territory every day that can be avoided, like those new-fangled supermarket self-service check outs, or printing out your own airline ticket. Yet when entering the world of writer, author, scribe, and the self-publishing journey, I find this territory more obligatory and downright confronting. And why is this? All because you have to face the unfamiliar territory of Facebook, Twitter, and enter an alien world of Liking, Posting, and Tweeting. And then, once you enter this domain, you’re still in the dark, with the “not knowing what you don’t know” syndrome lurking in the background as you manoeuvre through endless options and umpteen variations on every imaginable theme. However, added to this mix, I find more subtle influences that redefine, possibly defy, the written word itself.

For example, up until recently I used my trusty, well-thumbed thesaurus because it was familiar and comfortable. That is, until the day I discovered an online version, and just like that, the words from my1999 version of The New Choice Thesaurus seemed a little flat, even ancient in their last century roots. How on earth could this “miracle” of modernity have been at my finger tips, and I didn’t know about it? I have no idea, but what I do know is that this revelation revolutionised my ability to quickly source an alternative to repetition, recapitulation and reiteration – well almost!

I’m sure (with my newly defined “published author” status) there are countless other time-saving things that I would dearly embrace if someone were to point me in the right direction, because the dilemma I face on a daily basis, is the amount of time it takes one to find these things out on one’s own; or the lack of time that anyone has to show another; or just the lack of time – full stop. But, before I digress into my opinion of how punctuation (and spelling and grammar) may have almost skipped a generation or two, due to emailing, texting, and whatever else I’m yet to discover, I’ll stop, because itwould take up way too much time and space – for now!

Oh, and by the way, “ancient” according to the thesaurus that still sits by my computer on my paperless-desk (not true) is – antique, obsolete or primitive. Whereas the “ancient” I can instantly connect with when dragging my mouse up to my Google Toolbar “Favourites” is – antiquated, outmoded and moth-eaten! Moth-eaten! I think not, but possibly that’s my kneejerk, de rigueur, par for the course reaction?

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