“Hemingway” Was Right

“Write drunk; edit sober” – Not Hemingway!

Every writer who’s worth their ink has heard the famous misattributed quote above. For the sake of commonality, I’ll just roll with it as if he had– for several reasons. I’ll start with the first part– putting a drink down next to an empty page.

Some of you teetotalers might have just said, “Why?! Writing is a craft, not some whimsical farce borne of intoxication!” First off, your ego can fuck off at the door. I’m willing to bet that you’ve stared at a blank page for hours innumerable because what words you did manage to put down “weren’t right.” I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Here is where my good ol’ buddy Al Cohol is useful– he’ll distract your inner perfectionist while you can get down to creation. I wonder how many instances of writer’s block come from ill-timed, persistent, perfectionism. A drink or two (or getting utterly blotto, depending on your tolerance/coordination/preferences) is enough to ignore the picayune whatever that keeps you hitting backspace as often as any other key.

Sidestepping the dreaded writer’s block isn’t the only benefit to a lightly-to-fully inebriated state of mind. Consider, if you will, what I call the “hold my beer” principle. You don’t dismiss bad ideas off the bat when under the influence. You’re inclined to run with them when most sober people wouldn’t even take them under consideration. Bad ideas make for great stories, and when you’re in writing mode– it’s not like you’re going to end up in the running for a fucking Darwin Award. Since you’re going to edit it sober, who cares what semi-intelligible tripe you throw down in the first draft? You might be surprised at not only the left turns you take, plot wise, but the wording you dream up. Sometimes all you need is a concept on the paper that sober-you can work with.

Thirdly, a sloshed psyche can run with an idea that it finds interesting like a goddamn marathon runner. Ever played drunk babysitter for a friend who isn’t face-to-floor wasted? It’s either hilarious or fucking aggravating, because plastered people tend to be single-minded with their attention. You can use this to your advantage, regardless of theme. After putting the inner perfectionist on mute and booze-boarding your creative spark, it’s easy to ride that singular attentiveness to a workable word count.

HunterS

This guy. Right here.

 

If you do opt to partake in performance-enhancing substances, always fucking revisit the fruits of your labor when sober. Obvious reasons aside (i.e. typos, comment-section-worthy grammar, generalized fucktardery, etc.), this practice literally puts a fresh pair of eyes on your work. You will catch all the easily-missed oopsies that your eyes will miss if you wrote it sober. Why is that? Because whatever you’ve written sober will still read the same way in your mind when you’re editing– unless you put an unconscionable amount of time between the two phases. This practice will shorten the process by allowing you– as opposed to an editor, a test audience, or a friend– to be your first pair of fresh eyes on the text. Provided that you haven’t tried to write while Lahey-wasted, the fine tuning should be both productive– and simple.

See? There is a modicum of method to my madness, besides making excuses for my *ahem* penchant for the outlandish. Try it out once, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like you’re getting anything done staring at whitespace.

Unplug.

Creating Dialogue That Doesn’t Suck

So far, most of my editions of Verb(al) Abuse were general, directed more towards the hoi polloi than the writing community. Granted, I think most of the writers reading my mental detritus got a good chuckle from what they found so… mission accomplished? Anyway, this section’s more geared towards you fine folks– and people that want to be like you.  Notice I didn’t say me.  I’m still working on that part.

Fleshing out a character is nine parts demonstration, and one part bullshit. The bullshit I speak of is every newbie’s favorite tool– explication. I’m ignoring that part and skipping straight to the naughty bits that let you look inside the skull: the words coming out of that character’s mouth.

2741259-do_you_understand_the_words_that_are_coming_out_of_my_mouth_jackie_chan

The more I look at it, the more perfect this image break fits.

We’ve all heard the tired fucking Show/Tell advice, and yes– we can learn much about a character based on what they do and how.   That said, there are things you can do with a character’s dialogue that gives insight that description and demonstration cannot. I love dialogue for this reason above all else, and it’s a rarity that I go more than a page or two without it.

Dialogue is one of the easiest things to fuck up. Just because you’ve written inside quotations with perfect grammar does not guarantee that it sounds like it came out of someone’s mouth. In fact, there’s the beauty of dialogue– you can fuck with grammar, spelling, whatever! If you’re inside quotation marks, you can abuse pretty much everything to have the character flesh themselves out for you. Basic, yes, but also dern useful.

Protip segue aside, the point is:  dialogue should sound spoken. The operand fucking term here is sound– and yes, I’m telling you to speak your dialogue while you’re editing. Some famous writer has been quoted to that effect, but fucked if I remember who it was.  (Can someone please comment with the author?  This is earworm-level bugging me.)  He was 100% spot on, in a very literal sense.

2741259-do_you_understand_the_words_that_are_coming_out_of_my_mouth_jackie_chan

And now it serves to illustrate the point.

Read it out loud, and don’t fucking lie to yourself.  Go back to what you’ve written a few days later, drunk, and try it again.  See if it sounds like a bag of dicks.

If it does, fix it on the spot as drunk you desires.  Talk it out.  Save it into a different file name and go on with your bad self.  When you sober up, read them both out loud again and let your ears tell you which passage sounds better.

Try it.  You might be surprised.

Unplug.

 

Wrap It Up!

There are few crimes more reprehensible than droning on for ten pages for a concept that could be expressed in ten sentences.  I touched upon this a couple weeks ago.  Oh yes, boys and girls and smizmars, let’s tie this fucker off right!

TieOff

I’ll bet this is knot the joke you were expecting.

There are a few ways you can bring a piece to a close, and it’s up to your better judgement (ha ha) to decide which method is most useful.  Making a grandiose oversimplification, as I’m wont to do, “closings” can be grouped into three categories so loose, yo’ momma’ll seem tight.

  1. The Cliffhanger
  2. The Summary
  3. The Fuck You

“The Cliffhanger” tends to be better used in works of fiction.  For example, let’s say I stuck my assjack protagonist in the clutches of his former-and-probably-future lover, and he happens to be handcuffed to a chair in the non-giggity sort of way.  I know I could carry on for another dozen pages juggling witty repartee and bitchslaps to his booze-guzzler.  That said, what would these slapstick pages add to my story?  Absolutely fucking nothing.  The object of a cliffhanger is to cement an ending with a single blow like a shovel to the forehead.

Using a such a wrap-up forces you to think about what you have written as a complete work.  If you’ve already accomplished what you’ve set out to do, as I did with Maxie, sometimes it’s as simple as a slammed door on a solitary prisoner.  Abrupt endings are meant to be jarring, and even though they should leave some questions unanswered– make sure it doesn’t leave too many things in the air.  Drop a cliffhanger before it’s properly set up, and you’ll come off like a kid who tried to bang out an entire research paper before breakfast.

Speaking of papers, that brings me to the next big-ass category. Summaries are best used for non-fiction work.  Now don’t get fucking picky with me, because this covers everything from emails to academic papers.  Touch on your key points, but don’t waste keystrokes rehashing them.  The point is to wrap everything up like a present, right down to the tidy little bow.  The point of The Summary is to have a nice feeling of completion once you’re done with the last sentence.  If you discover another way of presenting the topic– that shit belongs in the body of your work, so get to rewriting.  Unless you’re planning to drop a bombshell (thereby combining The Cliffhanger with The Summary), tie it together and be done with it.  If it takes more than a paragraph to wrap up, you’re doing it wrong.

GibbsSlap

Some day you’ll learn, probie.

The one everyone’s been waiting for is lucky number three: the Fuck You.  This is a thing of beauty, because this method is not just meant to wrap up what you’ve written– it’s wrapping everything up.  It’s the last word– and it absolutely cannot work unless you have covered every last angle with OCD-esque attention to detail.  The French call it a coup de grâce, and the more popular term these days is the “mic drop.”

This doesn’t have to be nasty, some of the very best sign-offs of this category take lofty roads.  This ending is abrupt, much like a Cliffhanger– except all want for further discourse is dead like political integrity.

SkeletorMirror

And fuck whatever retort may be flung after the deed is done.  It’s over.

Unplug.

The Art of the Smackdown (Edition 1)

I’ve spent several entries going over some basic tenets of getting a point across. What if your sole intent is to tell someone how many offs they should fuck– and how they should perform the act? I did promise a few random entries for upping your roast game… and believe you me, some of the atrocities I’ve unleashed should be banned by the Geneva Accords.

AdHominem

… because fuck you.

Yes, we’re on the offensive today. At one time, simple vulgarity was plenty to insult someone to a state of blessed silence. Now, a simple F-bomb is fucking child’s play. If you march into a war of words with but a few choice profanities as your armament, you’ve brought butter knife to a howitzer fight. There are three basic principles behind a devastating diatribe.

  1. Make it memorable.
  2. Cut them deep.
  3. Make everyone else laugh.

If you are going to walk down the scorched path towards roasting someone, make sure they never forget who the fuck you are. This is easier to illustrate than it is to explain, so take the following pairs into consideration. Each pair has the same basic premise and intent. One is basic, the other sublime.

  • Eat shit and die, asshole.
  • Go chug a bottle of fucking Drano and finish what your mom’s coat hanger missed.
  • You’re pathetic.
  • Fucktards like you shouldn’t reproduce, and if you did– I demand an apology on behalf of the gene pool.
  • Fuck off, gold digger!
  • You’re the kind of shitbag who’d suck dick for cab fare and walk home.
  • Shut the fuck up!
  • If I wanted any shit from you, I’d yank the buttplug out of your mouth and squeeze your head.

Take some time to think about the target, and hit them from an angle they didn’t see coming. Blindside them with creative malice. That malodorous sack of genetic party favors on the receiving end will expect average assholery– so suckerpunch them in the think jelly. Some of the worst insults are effective because the victim has to think about it first. They need to put in effort just to find the middle finger– and that is every bit as unforgettable as a steel toed jackboot to the nards.

punchovertheinternet

Pay attention; you’ll learn how.

So, we’ve covered my first basic rule of hurling ad hominem assaults. Second rule, cut them to the core. On the rare occasion where ignoring a misguided shitpost-machine just will not do, don’t pick a fight. Slaughter them from moment one. It’s not a matter of who starts it– it’s who ended it by causing a Fukushima-grade meltdown.

Two things to keep in mind, because this can be tricky to execute properly:

  1. Choose your wording with extreme care.
  2. Mind the witnesses.

Yes, these are intertwined. You are out to devastate, and the way to do that is to make them hurt. If you know your intended recipient, start throwing low blows like Johnny fucking Cage. If all you know is based on the written abortion on your screen, this is where the tricky part comes into play. F-bombs are fun, sure, but nobody gives a flying fuck about them being offensive. I shouldn’t have to say this, but racial/ethnic/sexist/phobic/etc. insults are out of bounds. They do not serve your purpose (quite the opposite)– end of story. If you can’t keep those terms out of your vocabulary, find the nearest fire and die in it.

In the case of a random online encounter, creep the fucker. You’ll have to think like a P.I. to find out what hurts them most. Sometimes it’s as easy as destroying them based on their inability to use a fucking spellcheck. Grammar Nazi tactics are effortless, and are usually enough to berate a fool into silence.

In person? Well shit, play off what they’re saying. If your wit lacks alacrity, just shut your noise hole and get someone else do the dirty work for you. Witnesses can be your worst fucking enemy when hurling insults, because you never know who may jump into the fray. There will always be a bigger assjack out there, and you do not want to give them reason to prolong the fight by joining the opposition.

tacohuman

No comebacks. No replies. Just STFU.

Last up, make others laugh. Very few wars of words come without witnesses. A major impact factor of an insult is derived from the reactions of third parties. Like yours truly, some people appreciate unabashed brutality, and there are instances where a sledgehammer is called for. More often than not, if your delivery is entertaining on a broad scale– it is far more effective in shutting up the half-cocked fucknugget on the receiving end. You can obliterate a person’s psyche by cutting them deep, sure, but when it’s coupled with the secondary impact of everyone laughing at their expense… your victory is all but assured.

These things said, I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t close with this: an ad hominem attack is not an advisable course of action. If you’re adamant about taking that route, just remember that like nuclear warfare… there will be fallout. It doesn’t matter if you care about it, it is inevitable and can occur in unforeseen ways. Do you really want to deal with that shit?

Unplug.

Consider Your Audience

Someone just cringed, and it wasn’t me. Yes, I’m going to try and teach better judgment– and I know that this is a bad fucking idea. It should also be obvious that said classification of ideas tends to put a quiver in my loins. Ok, yeah, that might be a bit far… so I should probably–

get_on_with_it

I may revel in bombastic turns of phrase, but there is one thing I keep in mind when at the keyboard– or running my mouth. Who is on the receiving end? You don’t address a child the same way you do a peer. Sure, I know several kids that are smarter than most adults… but you’re not going to ask a fuckin’ kid the best way to get pegged. I’ll leave the obligatory joke to those of you snickering, because yes– I thought about putting five different ones here. Anyway, you get the point.

Age difference is the most basic way to illustrate where I’m going in this edition of Verb(al) Abuse. Consider who makes up your target audience; who are you trying to get to? Is it one person, or is it a group? What kind of people make up said group? It’s more to consider than most people realize, and taking the time to ponder these factors is crucial to being received as you desire.

Was that too flowery for you?  If you want to get your way on the first try, think about who the fuck you’re talking to.

Take Verb(al) Abuse, for example. It’s for you, designed for a broad reader base. Some of you are reading this because you’re interested in picking up writing tips, as written by an easily-understood wiseass that can keep your attention. Some of you are here for the laughs, because you see why this shit’s necessary. See? No matter what: it’s for you.

When you park your ass at a keyboard, or get your thumbs limbered up, think about what you’re doing. Are you bullshitting with one close friend? Fuckin’ Thunderdome– you probably don’t even need to proofread that shit. Being a dick on social media? That can be touchy, just be ready for the potential for backlash. Don’t bitch if someone else is better at being a dick than you are. How about a coworker or a boss? I don’t care who you think you are at work, looking like a sporkfucker is a quick way to unnecessary bullshit. Make sure professional things sound fucking professional. Joking aside, read what you’ve written out loud– and your ears might tell you something that your eyes have missed.

Consider your audience, how smart are they? I’m not saying refrain from firing off $5 words. I’m saying you can’t be too sly with the dumb ones. If you don’t drop an ACME anvil on their head, they’ll miss your point. Yes, we all love to lob verbal hand grenades that don’t go off until later when Google gets checked– but keep it short if your audience seems like they’d hiss and recoil from the front steps of a library. Their attention span will be short, so you’ve got to be blunt.

relevance

But wait, there’s more!

 

Does all of this sound like a lot? You bet, and all of it is important. It’s part of establishing a thing called tone. Are you trying to keep a conversation going? Think about how to keep their attention. Will your alphabet soup turn away people because you said a bad word? Are they going to even care about what you’re saying? What is the potential for them to tune you out if you’re too long-winded (or perceived as boring/offensive)?

Tone aside, topic also matters. Again, I’m going to use age to make the easiest illustration. Most octogenarians wouldn’t give a flying fuck about your sick 360 no-scope even if jacked up on Viagra while skiing Scarface Mountain. Likewise, most teens aren’t too interested in retirement strategies. If your subject matter doesn’t seem to be in step with their potential interests, you’re going to have to be nothing short of sublime with your wording to keep their attention past your opening volley. Make no mistake, age is not the only dividing factor among audiences. It’ll serve you well to do a horrible thing called “think” before you reach out (no matter what your chosen medium of communication happens to be).

image20160402-26807-2ifjon

If I may take a moment to bounce off the very bottom to highlight what comes next.

Before I sign off, let me leave you with one parting admonition.  If you have any reason to believe that your audience is smarter than you are (or they have a better grasp of the subject matter being discussed)…  by fuck, watch your ass.

Unplug.

FOCUS!

Ah, yes, focus– it’s an often overlooked aspect of effective communication. You can be eloquent, you can be shocking, you can have a vocabulary that dwarfs the most talented orators, you can even be right, but unless you understand how to focus your language– you’re wasting everyone’s time. Think of it like the Death Star’s superlaser– you want everything to come together with enough force to fuck a planet, and your individual sentences lack the firepower do the job by themselves.

Superlaser2

Here comes the boom!

The first, and perhaps biggest, point I’m going to harp on has to do with subject matter. Let’s say you’ve unwisely taken a stroll into the comments section of (pick a website). Of course, every comment section is bound to feature the absolute best minds the internet can dredge up (still applies to “moderated” ones). Naturally, while surfing said anal fissures of humanity, you invariably stumble over a nugget of shit that just begs to be cast asunder and flushed. Your keyboard is your machine gun, and your fingers are itching to bark the universal order to sit down and shut up.

There’s one tiny problem, you can’t stay on fucking topic. Your hailstorm of keystrokes belie your fervor, and you click “submit” thinking you just did society a favor. Next thing you know, unrelated posters have jumped in on the dingleberry’s side because you lobbed in a correlation between gun control and juvenile delinquency. Yes, I’m throwing out a hypothetical here; just roll with it. One of the absolute quickest ways to be disregarded is to add random flotsam into your argument. This counts exponentially more when you’re face-to-face with someone, because you can’t backspace in the moment. Even Timelords can’t do that.

No, dudes and dudettes, you cannot just open the floodgates and expect your brain to throw down a cohesive point at the first go. Focus, dammit! Having a discussion about education? Great, keep it about education– don’t start dragging in other shit, no matter how much you think it’s related. Newsflash– looking like a complete fucktard can often be traced back to muddling your subject matter.

That said– I’m guilty of using gratuitous segues, and I spend more of my time deleting said detritus than I actually do dropping devastating diatribes. A segue has its purposes, but it’s nothing more than an aside. It’s not the focus. Not to mention, asides absolutely must have a clear tie-in to whatever it is you think you’re saying. One sidebar isn’t a distraction. Don’t sidebar from another sidebar, making (or destroying) a point isn’t a fucking pub crawl.

Anyway.

TheQueenIntermission

As you command, your worship.

 

The second part is the all-important premise of direction. Stop the protest right now; we all know you had a purpose behind getting in a war of words. This second part’s going to be a double-double. Firstly, if you’re keeping on target, don’t fucking double back. Yes, I realize that most people are taught to wrap up essays with a conclusion. Click the link. A conclusion is not supposed to be a full rehashing of everything you’ve said– it’s the end. Think of your wrap-up like a nail gun that’s low on ammo. Pick what you want tied back to the body of your work, but realize that you have a finite number of nails. If you’re firing more than four or five shots in your conclusion– guess what? You’re chasing your own tail, and the poor sot on the receiving end is going to be bored long before you run out of breath/keystrokes. Bored recipients = lost point.

circularlogic

Just don’t.

Second half of this second half is all about “stacking” your words. Just like a blackjack dealer stacking the deck, you want to ensure that every single sentence is placed with tactical precision. This works especially well when troll hunting. Sometimes it isn’t what you say, nor how you say it, but what order you said it in. A bit vague, yes, but take a moment to think about the concept. You’ve got bombshells to drop. Do you want those to hit while they’re fresh, or do you want them reeling first? That’s right, kids, think about where you’re taking your recipient– and let each successive point build upon the foundations laid by the others.

Remember! FOCUS! You’ll be waffle-stomping dumbasses in no time.

Unplug.

 

Big Words are Your Best Friend

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln

Some of you are already scratching your head, wondering exactly where this one is going to go. After my last vitriolic entry, your suspicions are warranted. How, exactly, can one befriend a word– let alone make that relationship a superlative? Well, take a break from the literal, and I’ll take you for a little stroll through the metaphor.

friendbestfriend

Think of it this way. A dictionary is your friend, because it’ll give you the means to look intelligent. A thesaurus is also your friend, even if just to keep you from sounding repetitive– except this friend is the kind that introduces you to your best friend. Who are these best friends I’m talking about? They’re the $5+ words, Scrabble’s very own weapons of ass destruction. These polysyllabic game breakers are your best friends– because they absolutely will let you go on with your bad self until you look too stupid to chew gum and breathe at the same time. However, if you’re astute enough to drop alphabet soup on someone’s head the right way– they’ll have your back and bolster your credibility, or add megatons to your verbal bombs.

Those big ass words you find in the thesaurus may share definitions and traits similar to the word you’re looking up, but that doesn’t guarantee that they are meant to be used in the same way. Take vainglorious and megalomaniacal for example. I’ll wait for you to click the links. Yes, more often than not, those two qualities are found in the same pompous assjack. They are not interchangeable.  They do, however, work pretty well together with some permutation of fuck sandwiched in the middle.

Just like your best friend in the bar when you’re faceplanting drunk, if you get out of line– in this case with your choice of words– they’ll help you make an ass of yourself.  Not to mention, just like that same best friend, they’ll help you keep doing it until you learn your lesson.

GibbsSlap

And once you do…

 

Unplug.

Use the Right Goddamn Word

We live in the age of autocorrect, the whorespawn successor to predictive text. Now, if that’s not already bestowing upon us superpowers for translating flagrant typos on the fly– take into account how much modern English relies upon acronyms and other referential fuckery. Such convolution. So confuse.

With every advancing generation, our interpretive reading skills jump. We often do, in fact, get what everyone’s saying… in spite of all desire to claim otherwise. On top of that, doesn’t the spoken word also tend to ignore spelling, homonym misuse, and punctuation?

Yeah, I have no idea.

Technically, we’re here to serve you.

It should be small wonder why all of our various newsfeeds are a bleak reminder that the corpse of the English Language is rotting before our eyes. But wait, wasn’t I just extolling the wonders of our growing ability to decipher what would be considered gibberish 30 years ago? There’s a difference between throwing out an OMG in a status, a LOL when you don’t feel like giving a fuck about a conversation, or a 22-eggplant wherever– …and looking like a fool. By the way, while we’re on the topic, I absolutely need to stop at the emoji.

One, emojis are useful, cute, and pack a metric fuckton of meaning in the convenience of a single object. I think they absolutely have a part in modern communication. That said, I need to argue with the better paid, better credentialed, and better educated people over at Oxford. 

I’m sorry. No. An emoji is a fucking pictograph. By itself without context, it has no meaning. It’s not even a hieroglyph. A word intrinsically has a definition, a meaning, and a usage. An emoji derives its meaning from the words around it. I see what you were doing, and I can understand that the idea is to stay current with communication trends. That said, have some fucking standards. I mean for the love of Alcohol, I am envisioning those responsible for this affront to words are the same sort of pretentious grundle fungus that curls their nose when someone’s noise hole shits cockney in the street. This is why I will only use Merriam Webster for link references of the non Urban variety.

Sure, a word’s usage may change wildly based on referential context, take “fuck” for example. That said, the word as it stands alone has a definition. An emoji? Sorry. You’re trying to give me fucking sherbet and the label on the container clearly says ice cream. They are not the same goddamn thing.

So where was I before I decided to sidebar? Oh yes, the putrefying corpse of the English Language as viewed online. We, as humans, are creatures of habit. If you’re one of those irritating folks who routinely flubs there/their/they’re, to/two/too, your/you’re, etc. just because we all know you meant, that’s a habit. Start doing it regularly (because hey, we all know what you meant, right?) and the next thing you know– you’ll be doing that in work emails, job applications, and places where proper usage matters. It doesn’t matter if the poor soul reading your mismatched letters can piece together what you meant. If you come across as an uneducated moron, you will be treated as such– even if not to your face.

It’s called standards. We have them for a reason, and people making decisions don’t just give a damn about what you meant. If you can’t be bothered to learn and observe some basic, longstanding standards of written communication– you’re the one that looks like their IQ test came back negative.  So seriously, make the effort to use the right goddamn word, because you will be the one to benefit from it.

While we’re at it, spellchecker is a thing, and a useful one at that. If what you’re tapping out has a lot of red lines underneath it, that’s not a sign that your written abortion is pure fire. Using spell check doesn’t cost anything, and there’s no way for anyone to know you ever used it. They will notice if you didn’t.

So yeah. Usage and standards! Sometimes stepping up your game is as simple as realizing that “Grammar Nazis” are doing you a favor, and you may want to appreciate it. We’re the kind of people that can help you get hired.

Unplug.

An intro of sorts…

First introductory sentences are my Achilles Heel. I loathe them much like politicians hate being accountable for their words. Now that the first two are out of the way, conveniently sneaking “words” in at the end for a blatant segue opportunity, we can get to the whole title thingy. Where other blogs of mine in the past died in obscurity thanks to a lack of focus, and therefore a lack of sustained interest on my part, this one is dedicated to abusing the English language the right way… and maybe the art of the crafted insult.

Let be stated here, once and for all, that I recognize that I will piss off as many people as I cause to piss themselves from laughter. If you find yourself in the latter category, I offer this one-time apology: I’m sorry for your inadvertent incontinence and the clean-up. If you find yourself in the former category… well, I offer this advice (as I won’t be listening): direct your concerns to someone who is interested in coddling small minds.

 

jrL1Oj_y

There might be section-break pictures in later editions.  Haven’t decided yet.

 

I’m not looking to be the last bastion of linguistic standards, because capricious flouting of the “rules” can sometimes be more effective than eloquence. No, as a man who has the tendency to use “fuck” like a comma, I’m better suited to going on offense. Verb(al) Abuse is about weaponizing words. From my skewed perspective, as touted by grammas across history, it’s not what you say– it’s how you say it.

Which is of these pairs has a better chance to stick in your mind longer than five minutes?

  • I told my boss to fuck off.
  • I told my boss to eat a bag of dicks and choke on the last one.

 

  • Today is not my day!
  • If it weren’t for today’s relentless pounding, I wouldn’t have a sex life.

 

  • How stupid are you?
  • Your family tree looks like a telephone pole, doesn’t it?

Point made.

For me, it comes down to strategic leveraging of the relationship between denotation and connotation. You might understand my point, but I’ll illustrate it for the learners.  I’m taking a general example here, and it’s meant to be basic (and yes, I realize that it isn’t perfect, just go with it)…  “Walking” is just that.  Yes, it is an action, and actions are important.  Besides telling the reader that they walked, big deal, nothing else comes to mind.

Along those lines, when you’re writing dialogue, “said” falls in the same category.  Yes, it has a purpose, but it doesn’t do anything else aside from stating a basic action.  The words are flat, like Ozzy Osbourne when he’s not shitfaced.  They don’t carry any implied meaning, no inflection, not a single fucking bit of extra oomph. It’s what I call a pacing word– but I’ll get to that idea someday in the future.

Instead of blowing white space with words that are even less interesting than a blank page, choose words that convey more than a definition. If you’re going to say something, and by fuck if you’re intending to write something, don’t waste your energy being boring.

So yeah. Welcome to Verb(al) Abuse; I’ll be the sardonic narrator sticking his grubby fingers in your think-jelly. With any luck, someone might sprain a neuron or six.

Unplug.