On Reading

Another successful week (or so) of daily writing. The following chunks are pieces of pieces I might want to come back to and explore / refine:

7.20.19 – 7.29.19

Kicking off second round of thought streaming sentence hurling first thought best thought just get something out don’t think too much

words and turds and mistletoe
flesh is were the thistle grows

just talking cow
and saying muffin

BLOG Post Title “Got a Spellcheck On Me”
Got a Spellcheck On Me

Spell check is training me. I’m too neurotic to ignore those red lines. And it’s not always possible to turn off spellcheck, so I’m begrudgingly becoming a better (and less interesting) speller. The machine is learning me good.

The natural drift and shift of language is getting solidified in predictable rigidity. The evolution of spelling and grammar (and word choice) are being stuffed in amber, as is – no more mutations.

in explanation:

The technique of vibrato wasn’t widely used in popular music. This is how vibrato spread according to David Byrne in his book How Music Works (as best as I can remember, having read it a few years ago).

The mechanics of early recording necessitated a lot of volume. A signal had to be loud to be picked up by the early recording devices, which etched sound waves by needle into physical discs. Violins weren’t loud enough to be easily heard on the recording so they needed to be played more loudly. While being bowed more aggressively pitch tends to waver. The added force makes minute differences in finger position affect the pitch dramatically. A little bit of difference in finger position and pressure tend to affect the pitch when stringed instruments are bowed more violently. The note that was a tiny bit off now sounds WAY off.

In order to compensate for this warble in pitch, players started wiggling string fingers quickly back and forth to shift the pitch slightly sharp and sharply flat. To the listener, this sharp / flat oscillation splits the difference and gives the sense of being on pitch.

When people heard these recordings the use of vibrato was then imitated and reproduced in future recordings. People mimicked and repeated what they heard, having no idea that vibrato was just being used as a workaround, a way of dealing with technological limitations.

In a similar way Grammarly and spell check are training us to use language in the way it’s currently used, fixing it as is.

A good sentence is like water. It has no noticeable taste. If you get a whiff of something, there’s probably dead sheep upstream.

(inspired by Rory Sutherland, Alchemy)

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he is insistent that you have to read a ton if you want to be a great writer. Reading a lot, you start noticing sentence structure and grammar usage that you didn’t notice before. The story gets out of the way and other structural facets present themselves.

Reading a ton is mentally draining. I read more loosely later in the day. Seems pointless to read if you’re not taking it all in but maybe loose reading is ok. Just like loose writing has its benefits.

Diffuse reading is useful. Not being able to pay attention to the story line or character names. Diffuse mode makes connections that focused mode can’t. Aspects of tone and flow might be better detected in this state.

underneath my side-moon feet
trapped galore, “I know right”
saddled and brimming with buckets round
near the close evermore

lost now on frivolous mounds of melt
poured down from above below
no one can feel what you fearsome felt
coming in out of the cold

apparently spellcheck has no knowledge of the the word motherfucking. Didn’t even offer any suggestions. That seems disingenuous.

Well, I trained that motherfucking motherfucker, now it knows.

skeeter legged train of thought, there and gone, gone there

quick down feather bed abstraction abstract
levels in levels and levels under that

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