Good speakers are not necessarily good writers. At least that’s what my experience has taught me.
The written word seems so limited. It fails to fully convey my personality and charm. In fact, that last word should be spelled “chah-m” in order to allow the reader to enjoy my accent. Additionally, if reading this you would not be able to notice my fancy three button suit or how incredibly shiny my shoes are. (I received several compliments on my shoes last month when I spoke at the Bridgetown Ladies Club.)
That reminds me of another issue. I’m talking about those pesky parentheses. As a speaker I can stop and parenthetically explain to my audience any exceptions to the point I’m making. (And there are always exceptions.)
But editors seem to hate parentheses. I’m not sure of the source of their animosity, either. Sure the parenthesis is not as fancy as those high fallutin’ curly brackets, but those are rarely used as well, so I don’t think it’s an aesthetic concern. It seems to have something to do with the flow of the writing, but when I’m speaking, my parentheticals always seem to fit right in. (Especially if you turn your body the other direction for a moment to give a visual clue that you’re “chasing a rabbit.”)
That reminds me of another issue – figures of speech. Editors seem to avoid them like the plague. When I’m speaking, a well-placed expression or cliche can help me establish a rapport with the audience. It emphasizes the fact that we understand each other and share a similar existence. Editors, it would seem, do not care about our existence. They care only about words.
And not just words – real words. My audience doesn’t mind if I choose to verb a noun in order to catch their attention. It helps to stimulate their minds and keep them engaged. Even if I made the word up, my audience will understand me irregardless. Editors, on the other hand, freak out at such behavior. Furthermore, my audience doesn’t care if I’m saying ‘alright’ or ‘all right.’ People who complain about such things are… well, nevermind.
But I must write. For no one can get enough of me in a short forty-five minute speech. To deprive them of my wit and wisdom until we chance to meet again would seem cruel and selfish. (You don’t want to be a selfish speaker, do you?) So I employ ghosts to fight the editors – or at least to haunt them on my behalf – so that I can end every presentation the way I intend to end this one:
It’s been a pleasure spending time with you. If you would like to continue this conversation, pick up some of my books. If you buy three, the forth one is free!
(My apologies to any writers, editors or grammarians who were pained by this piece.)