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.