Weekly Input #3: A Timely Return to Form

All right, I admit that it’s been a while. In my defense, though, since it’s a widely accepted truism that silence often speaks louder than words, I’ve really actually written more on this blog during that period than I ever did before; much like the use of white space in art, so too has the empty cyberspace of the last year and a half or so been a key aspect of the carefully-crafted masterpiece that is this page. So if you failed to appreciate the ironic humour I constructed through the very absence of blog posts, that’s kind of on you.

Or, if you’re the type of insufferable sheep who waves around Occam’s Razor with all the intellectual precision of a toddler wielding a Sharpie, you could choose to believe that I’ve just been lazy and not had much to say.

But putting aside insignificant details such as “the truth,” I’ve recently undergone a philosophical paradigm shift thanks to my loquacious younger brother, who just a few days ago advised me, in the expertly paraphrased words of Thumper the Rabbit, “If you don’t have anything to say, say it anyway.”

In any case, I would like to thank my faithful readers – all three of you – for gracefully handling my hiatus and not nagging me at all, whatsoever, in the slightest, to post more.

To be honest, I actually didn’t have anything to say when I first began writing this. But the very act of actually writing it has granted me a valuable source of irritation as I look back on what I wrote. (What do you know – saying something before I had anything to say actually worked!) And if there’s one thing I’m good for, it’s ranting about entirely inconsequential annoyances.

I’m composing this post in Microsoft Word – why I choose to torture myself like that, I can’t answer – and there are currently six judgmental blue lines informing me that “more concise sentences could be clearer for my readers” or that “a comma might not be needed here” or that “A comma is best after an introductory word or phrase.” Heck, three of them appeared in the last paragraph where I was starting to complain about it, and now I’m even more annoyed because I’m not sure if that’s ironic or just even more annoying.

To Microsoft: I know full well when my writing goes against convention. I am aware of what “proper literary practice” looks like; I simply choose to ignore it. I am not some youngster struggling to learn the boundaries of acceptable prose. I have no need to be told that what I’m doing is technically wrong. I have grown beyond the rules. My wrongdoing is a matter of style.

So what business does Microsoft Word have in telling me how to do words good? Did Microsoft Word make the questionable decision to spend four years getting an English degree? No, it didn’t. Microsoft Word doesn’t know the struggle.

And some of the ignoramuses among you might be inclined to think that maybe I should simply…turn that feature off, and then I would no longer have to deal with it. But that’s not the point. The onus shouldn’t be on me to unsubscribe from Bill Gates’ Greasy Grammar Facts. If I broke into your house every night to tell you facts about bananas, it’s doubtful that the courts would be okay with it just because I would have left you alone if you asked. And even if I did leave you alone, you would know that there was someone nearby, watching you, judging you, persistently believing that you had an insufficient amount of knowledge about bananas.

And that’s how I feel about Microsoft Word.

(Note to self: find out if it’s possible to add a Banana Facts counter to the blog.)

-Ian

P.S. Just in case there’s anyone who doesn’t like it when I use “big words”: deal with it. It’s not my job to make sure you know what words mean. I’m not a dictionary. Though I did eat one once.

Double P.S.: If you are reading this, leaving comments or even likes on the blog itself actually is really helpful. Not just for visibility, but because it helps me not feel like I’m just screaming nonsense into the void. I mean, I am, but you don’t have to make it feel like that.

And if you don’t feel like you have anything to say, take a page out of my new book and say something anyway! Don’t stay silent just because you have nothing useful to add. We don’t do that here. Leave a nice fact about bananas or something.

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Input #3: A Timely Return to Form

  1. Having spent 4 years getting a genetics degree and the subsequent 3 years (so far) in pursuit of a horticulture PhD, I could actually tell you some technical facts about bananas if you’d like. For instance, commercial bananas don’t have seeds because they are triploid, which…

    …and you’re falling asleep. Well then, I’ll just leave you with the thought that at least you didn’t try to insert a figure in your blog post in Microsoft Word, which undoubtedly would have led to such frustration that you might never have graced us with this post.

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    1. And just after posting this I realized that there actually is a figure at the top of your post. Clearly the last seven years of higher education have done much good for my observational skills. I’ll see myself out now.

      Like

    2. Tbh, I was actually getting interested at “triploid”, and then you stopped..so now I’m out one banana fact, and I didn’t have enough context to learn what ‘triploid’ meant without having to look it up…

      Bananas everywhere are judging you for leaving their fact hanging, the unreachable fruit that it now is. I’m not, but I would be, were I a banana.

      Banana ghost is unhappy now.

      Like

  2. Banana’s have a miniscule amount of Potassium 40, which is radioactive. So it stands to reason that, if you ate enough bananas quickly enough, you could become lethally irradiated.

    Furthermore, eating a single banana raises your micromort value by the same amount as one and a half cigarretes. Look it up. (I suggest the BBC’s QI episode on the topic to begin.)

    Like

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