Normally, upon coming back to this blog after a hiatus, I would tend to write an apology for silence followed by a rough outline of future plans, but I’ve long since realized that when such a thing is actually necessary, it means I’m not really in the right condition to actually hold myself to those plans. So, this time, I shall let my rehab float along with whichever way the river flows. For now I’ll just write little bits and pieces, as a sort of pump-priming, and then see if anything comes of it.
Way back when I actually did things, did any of you get baited into following my Twitter account for updates? If you did, first of all, I’m so sorry – if you haven’t unfollowed me already, you’ll know that for the past few years, the quality of my communications there has degraded drastically. Do note that this was not an unconscious shift – somewhere along the way I made the decision to treat it as a sort of vent for ideas that have no better place to escape, partially because it just felt right at the time, partially because the format lends itself well to that purpose.
On Twitter, I will largely type without proper English formatting – usually no capitals to begin my sentences, no periods to end then, many run-on sentences with missing commas. Maybe the practice isn’t so uncommon, given the nature of Twitter and the internet in general these days, but I’ll have you know, waaaay back when I was in high school, when online conversations were just starting to become a thing for teenagers, I was That One Guy who always insisted on using proper English – all the capitals, punctuation including semicolons, no acronyms like ‘lol’, no emotes, and so on. My discipline toward these chats degraded gradually – adoption of the acronyms, removing overly obvious punctuation, commas as verbal pauses and semicolon substitutes, splitting my sentences / into many lines / as I crystallize ideas in my head / for greater clarity – until I eventually got to the habits that I carried over to my current Twitter behavior.
As this went on, though, ‘degradation’ seems to have become less and less clean as a description for what I’m doing. Kind of consciously, kind of naturally, a lot of the things I do either came about as or morphed into a simulation of tics I have when I talk in person. I really don’t know how much of this subtlety gets through to the people I’m talking to, but the observations I’ve made regarding myself are funny enough to me that I feel less bad about my decline, at least. For example, I consider the shortage of capitals and periods my “informal” tone, and I like to think that it gives me the option to shift back to proper English when I’m being serious and need that tone to stand out. I once had a strong distaste for the use of commas where a semicolon or a new sentence would be more correct, but at this point, I do it anyway because it sometimes feels more natural, more reflective of the way people actually talk.
Even my use of acronyms has mutated – I use different slang for laughter for different vocal tones.
-‘lol’ is the most neutral, more like a grin than laughter
-‘lmao’ or ‘lmfao’ is strong, genuine laughter
-‘lmbo’, a particular corruption that originated from a longtime troll in public chats, has become my choice for “I’m not actually laughing”
-‘lmboo’, an even further corruption by a friend who integrated the same troll’s ‘lmbo’ into his own vocabulary differently than I did, flips around to become genuine laughter in his manner.
Now, I’m sure none of this is anything revolutionary, but I haven’t written text this long in years and I need to fill in something to feel like a real human being again.
No, that’s not the real “but”. :V
The real “but”, the real reason I think this isn’t 100% off-topic on my blog, is that this shapes some of my views on translation, even. I’ve noticed in the past, occasionally, that some translators tunnelvision on what seems correct by the books, but sometimes great things can come out of conscious decisions to break the syntactical rules of English, because those deviations can be utilized for specific purposes. Identifying the deviations that I find myself using can provide unexpected insight into things that I might be able to use later on.
Even more broadly, I place high value on attention to detail, and peering into everyday things, like this, helps me keep my eyes open.
Well, about 780 words. I used to write this much on almost a weekly basis, so I guess this is a decent start. Still as bad as ever at wrapping up neatly and keeping sentences succinct, though. :V
If all goes well, this won’t be my last post of the year. Approaching bedtime at 5AM is actually an improvement over my usual state, so I’ll leave things here today, but I don’t even care if no one reads this, this was time well spent.