Idlelatory Worship

January 17, 2008 / Internet Memes, Reviews / 14 Comments

No, that wasn’t a typo.

I recently came across a popular site called idlethink.com maintained by someone called Rachel. It is a quaint site with little content, simple design, but the style of writing is simply breathtaking. She combines succinct language, strategic use of grammar and powerful adjectives to paint a rhetorical picture of her topics. Simply put, she has mastered the English language to the point where every word and punctuation used has a purpose – including the adverbials and adjectives! Here is one of her blog entries:

in Paris, condemned to what is certainly the most disagreeable keyboard layout in the world. It is not only that the keyboard letters are incommodiously arranged so as to render the most common words into gibberish — the Q is where the A is; the Z is where the W; in place of the M is a comma, etc. There is also an unwholesome preoccupation with the shift key, to the extent that the entire number row at the top of the keyboard is swapped around with a random array of punctuation and symbols, so that one no longer presses ‘Shift+3’ to get the dollar sign, but must press ‘Shift+”‘ to get 3. The semicolon, comma and exclamation mark are easier to get to than the fullstop, which probably says something about French sentences. Typing has been, for the last fifteen minutes, a painstaking ordeal — so tiresome, in fact, that I si,ply refuse to pqnder to tis zhi,s q ,o,ent longer; qnd shqll noz touchtype zith unflinching belligerence: ?erry Christ,qs to qll1

Amazing, isn’t it? Let me try to analyze your amazement.

The first sentence is an incomplete sentence because it lacks a subject. It was no accident. I’m pretty sure she realized that it is an incomplete sentence because she doesn’t start it with a capital letter. To those who are less attentive, they would immediately ask “what is she talking about?”; to those who are sharper, the incomplete sentence will leave them wanting for more. To both audiences, the incomplete sentence thus serves as a very powerful introduction.

I’ve come across countless writers throughout my very short lifetime; some annoy me to no end with over-flowery gibberish, repetitive language, etc – all of which serve no purpose and give no consideration to the reader. Now, I was never a good writer. My essays in high school and the early years of university rarely received a grade higher than a B. I always thought that it was because my content wasn’t good enough. But that’s not it. After taking a few rhetoric courses, I realized that I always used to write with the mentality of simply regurgitating information with no regard to how it’s put. But now, I’ve realized that…

…we write because we want to be read; yet to be read we must not only write, but write well.

So, just as I worship a higher Power to become one step closer to becoming like him, I will ‘worship’ idlethink.com to become one step closer to writing like her.

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  • http://lovestoned.nu Brandy

    I admit, I’ve never been the best writer, but… uh, what WAS that!? lol. I was lost at the first word.

  • http://michaelpark.net Michael

    The subject of her writing was pretty obvious to me in the first sentence, and I must say she is a good writer; however, the words she uses are very classy and belong in novels, not on blogs.

  • http://simply-precious.net Simply Precious

    Wow, that was REALLY sophisticated…

  • http://www.teddy-o-ted.com teddY

    This is classic:

    …we write because we want to be read; yet to be read we must not only write, but write well.

    Well said. I’ve read her few previous posts, and realised that she has a really, really rich vocabulary. Her use of words are perfectly apt, and from that single excerpt from her blog it is immediately obvious that she’s an experienced writer, who knows how to use the English language to literally paint her feelings and thoughts on her blog.

    I’m not really good in English (yea, that’s way more than obvious)… I’m not saying that when we blog, what standard of English we should use – blogging is just a cyberspace alter-ego of our ownselves, blogging is all about writing about you, yourself, your thoughts, your perception of your surroundings, your life… and etc. If you’re comfortable in the current standard, then let it stay :) If a person writes a post that is horribly sophisicated (and probably bombarded with loads of uncommonly used words), and yet readers find that his other posts are of different standards, what would they think? Just my 2 cents. I don’t want those with bad English to feel bad about themselves, especially in the blogging world where there seems to be a bunch of irritating spammers who love to comment on your use of English :)

    It’s your blog, just write what you love 😀

    Anyway Ivy, you have a really good grasp of English! I should learn from you!

    [Edit] before submitting this comment I’ve rephrased several sentences, because after reading them I though they’re offensive to those who’re good in English – that’s not what I want to say :) since I’m not really good at choosing the right words, lol!

  • k

    i agree… i love her writing! i wish i were able to write like that, but my problem is that i have a huge reserve of passive vocabulary =(

    i know the words, but when i am looking for a certain word or phrase that can effectively put my point across, they -just don’t come-. sigh.

  • http://elena-photos.blogspot.com Elena

    Hehe, you know her Ivy…I think you’ve met her at an MUN do :) she used to go to GIS!

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    I have no idea what this has got to do with philosophy.

  • http://nanyate.com Ivy

    @Sigg3. Maybe I should rename philosophy to motherly-preachy-stuff. 😛

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    @ivy. I use the non-descriptive term “thoughts”. It allows me to post both philosophical musings as well as observations, such as; “Oh, this mustard did not go really well on my white pants.”

  • http://nanyate.com Ivy

    @Sigg3 ‘Thought’ is an interesting category. I’ll think about it. I just have one qualm about it. It makes it feel like the rest of my categories are without thought. HAHAHAHA!

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    Yes?

  • http://nanyate.com Ivy

    @Sigg3. I changed to “Commentary”. :)

  • Tinkerbelle

    She does not write at Idlethink anymore.
    It’s been months since she updated.
    sob