Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When Things Fall Into Place

There aren't many times when I've been completely sure of something. I'm always Miss Backup Plan. I have Plans A through Z and then maybe some plans with those little letters iii and such. But when I decided I wanted to get into publishing, I knew I had something going for me.

It really started, I guess, when I took my Editing 350 class. At first, it terrified me. We were sitting there editing little sentences that made no sense and that we would probably never see in the real world, and i wasn't all that convinced that I was cut out for this sort of thing. I wasn't making the grades I usually did.

But then we did this activity where we all wrote essays and swapped them with each other for editing. When it became real, when I was actually editing -to- somebody, when I knew there was an author counting on me to catch things, well, I was having the time of my life.

Then I got hired as the student editor for our foreign policy publication, Praemon. Within a week, I was editing happily and looking to the future. I was absolutely thrilled, and I wondered why I ever doubted that this was what I wanted to do.

I've always wanted to be a writer, of course. In fact, I am one. But writing doesn't put groceries on the table, so I needed something else. And this is it. Oh boy, is this it. I love it so much.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Beauty of the Unabashedly "Wrong"

I still remember the day I made my choice. I was sitting in class, learning about the difference between a dialect and a language and listening to a description of all the different ways people spoke. It was beautiful to me. I loved the melodies of their voices and the rhythm—the musical rhythm—of their speech patterns. Even their grammatical choices were sweet to the taste of my mouth as I rolled them over on my tongue. I was enamored.

As enamored as I was, though, other people were disgusted. I still remember the heat of the anger boiling up in my veins and clogging my throat as I watched the girl on the screen, the girl who was engaged to a Southern boy and broke it off when she heard his deep accent when they went to visit his family. I had seen that look before. It was the reason I had lost my own Georgia accent after three years in Provo. But when I heard it articulated, when I saw the way she looked down her nose at anyone who might think English could be spoken any other way, something inside me clicked. I understood. There was no right. There was no wrong. There was only the beauty of words and the way they could weave together to make stunning art. I am a descriptivist, a linguistic liberal, a bleeding heart; I am vehemently opposed to imposing “correctness” on others.