All right...I admit it: I have a fascination with words. Some - many - might call it an obsession. I love cleverly coined expressions, plays on words, unexpected phrases etc. Words often take centre stage in our family. My husband is an academic with several publications behind him, and I also work with language as a professional - and occasionally here in Norway unprofessional - translator. Sometimes, our sense of humour makes others shake their heads. We get a kick out of double entendres, while misspellings in papers or typos in books can get us all worked up. I can read a beautifully written phrase over and over again. It all gets a bit pathetic at times.
However, despite this interest, I have never thought myself particularly good with words. Instead, I admire others for their skill and wish I could do the same. I am a "wanna-be" linguist. A try hard. Not a natural at all.
Come to think of it, it is kind of like my singing. I love to sing but cannot carry a tune. However, that is another story altogether.
Since the advent of my blogging efforts, rumour has it that some of my friends are a little wary of commenting on my entries here in blogosphere. The term "intimidated" was used. Yikes. I was floored to hear that anything I do or say could possibly be taken that seriously. I never knew that I could be intimidating. Me? The "wanna-be"?!
Let me clarify that my friends have all been so sweet in sending me emails complimenting my blog, and a few even think it is well written on occasion. But some felt awkward adding their comments directly on the blog, fearing that their comments might look "second rate" (and yes, that is a direct quote). I can see why people could feel uncomfortable having their comments read by strangers, but since I do not expect my blog to be read by anyone other than those with a special interest in our Norway adventure - and let's face it, that number is exceedingly low - I just never considered that posting a comment could be intimidating. But my eyes have now been opened.
So, I've spent the last several days mulling this over, trying to figure out if there is anything I can do to make people more at ease. In addition to milking the situation at home, of course. Mike would concur that almost everything I now say to him either starts or ends with something akin to "I am a great writer, you know...". A conversation might go something like this:
Mike: "Heidi, could you pass the milk, please?"
Mike: "The milk, could you pass it, please?"
Me: "Oh, sure, here you go."
Mike: "Thanks. You seem distracted?"
Me: "Hmmm...just thinking about my next blog entry. Even great writers have to plan a little, you know..."
Christopher: "Mamma, I don't have any clean PJ's!"
Me: "OK. What would you like me to do about it?"
Christopher: "Did you wash some?"
Me: "No, I am sorry. I was too busy working on my craft."
Christopher: "Pappa - mamma is being strange again. Where are my PJ's?"
You get the idea. Things have gotten a little out of hand at home. I must reel in the ego a bit.
I did consider posting a completely unedited entry, one of those "train of thought" posts where I'm just writing about anything and everything that pops into my head. That way everyone could see just how scattered and disorganized I can be. I decided against doing it because it was pointless; the point is that I do like to review my entries before posting (unlike my children in their schoolwork, I might add).
But I think the charm of posting comments is that people can respond instinctively to whatever is written in the original post or someone else's reaction to it. Sometimes a post or comment can get a dialogue started about something that is of interest to several people. It is not about spelling, phrasing or sentence structure. Gawd, we do enough of that when dealing with our kids' homework!
So my solution to it all: Welcome to my world - this is what cracks me up at the moment.
Signs in Norway
Exhibit number one:
Seen on a cattle transport truck. Doesn't it just make you want to run out and buy a big, juicy steak?
Exhibit number two:
Indeed...the question I suppose all young Norwegian guys are asking themselves: Is spilling her better than simply dumping her?!
Exhibit number three:
Is it Stu who is bad, or is everything just plain awful in this washroom?
Clearly, everything can be twisted, and text is always whatever you choose to take from it, not necessarily what the author intended. So let's just have fun with it!