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.

 

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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.