Blogging has many unsuspected pitfalls, especially if typing is not up to scratch. I’m thinking I may have to get a new keyboard, as the five vowels have worn away and a number of the consonants too. I know that real typists don’t have to look at the letters but since I’ve never learned to type, I need to know where the letters are, and I often have to offer myself alternatives as I move blindly from one blank key to the next.
I pressed the send button too late the other day to stop a reply going out starting:” Hell Liz”. I’m onto it now, but fear there may have been other unfriendly bloopers emanating from this e-mail. What surprises me is how many words become insulting or obscene, with just one little misprint, or a key mis-hit.
Hello with the O left off is one thing, but I was shocked to re-read a comment and find I’d misspelt ‘friend’, and with the R left out it had become ‘fiend’. Since I was referring to a friend’s boy friend which had also come out with a typo reading ‘bog’, a ‘bog-fiend’ could have meant trouble. I was also commenting to this friend on ‘coping’ with her sick horse, which came out as ‘doping.’ And a comment was just saved in the nick of time, when I discovered that instead of writing ‘bigger’, I had typed U instead, while in another comment, I thought I’d written I was ‘touched’, but it came out as ‘toughed’.
One of the problems is that the writing for comments is so small I can hardly see it, and when trying to correct my inaccurate typing, too often I make a mess worse. It takes me hours to compose a properly spelt, polite comment with all typos and un-intentional expletives deleted and then to dare to press the ‘Reply’ button.
When it comes to expletives, I am actually a world expert, having read the un-expurgated copies of President Nixon’s tapes. I was back in England staying with a school friend, and her husband who was a lawyer, had paid an enormous amount of money to buy the un-expurgated tapes when they came on the market. My eyes started out of my head when I tried to read them. We’d become used to newspaper reports of the infamous tapes, saying things like: “Send the expletive deleted – expletive deleted – another -expletive deleted instruction, then he’ll -expletive deleted- know what the – expletive deleted- it’s all about…
Until I read President Nixon’s prose, or rather conversation, I had no idea it was possible to swear in so many ways and in so many words. To misquote Winston Churchill: never in human history has one man used so many swear words, in so many ways, so frequently. However, I try to avoid this myself, in my blogs and comments.
But even the word ‘blog’ gets away from me, and I find myself correcting ‘glob’. Today’s variation was ‘blogal’ instead of ‘global’. However, when I want to cheer myself up I go to Spam, and reading the comments there makes me feel I’m a master both of English prose and of the keyboard.
How about this one, taken at random from a bulging spam file. The writer had read my post ‘Gaia Knows Us’ and this was his mind boggling response:
“I precisely wanted to appreciate you all over again. I’m not certain the things I would have worked on in the absence of these information discussed by you regarding this concern. It absolutely was a horrifying setting in my opinion, however, taking a look at this specialised mode you solved the issue forced me to jump for delight. Extremely happier for the service and in addition have high hopes you are aware of a great job you were putting in educating people today through your web site. I am sure you have never got to know any of us.”
Since the post ‘Blogging is The New Black’ came out, the spam file has been deluged with offers to sell jerseys, sweaters, Denver Bronco sweaters, jumpers with stitching that will not chafe or itch small children, Redskin jerseys, every sort of jersey, jumper, sweater, pullover, hoodie, from places all over the US. Fashionistas who require jerseys also seem to need many brands of makeup and also Ugg boots.
I’ve had hundreds of these jersey offers, including one which tells me that: “as soon as you arrive on campus report promptly to the office accountable for assisting international students and scholars and Billy Cunliffe Jerseys can be offered to eligible students who apply”… Presumably all these jerseys are black…as are the Ugg boots, judging by a message which read: ‘The things you need to understand about black Uggs!’ ( and who is BIlly Cunliffe?)
These jersey offers are considerably less disturbing to my peace of mind and self-esteem than the ones which tell me, a propos of ‘Writing for Survival’ – “this is kinda boring”. And advise me to go to Yahoo for some good headline ideas. Or after the story on the Sixties, some bright young thing asked: “What would you think of writing about interesting things?”
It feels like reading school reports when I see “Try to improve your posts so they can be more detailed”, written a propos of ‘A Soldiers Life’, and another comment on the post about the Sixties: “I’m trying to understand more about this. Can you explain it clearer?” On the other hand I had that timid glow that faint praise from the head-mistress invoked in the past, when I read: “I really believe you will do much better in the future.”
As I pick myself up after these blighting assessments, I decide I’m better off staying in my own narrow, boring little world rather than venturing into the big cruel world of Spam where obviously all the bright young people live, where they dress in black Ugg boots, and Redskin jerseys in black, wear lots of make-up, and speak in a secret language which only they can make sense of. (They also seem to need a lot of Viagra)
In the mean-time I’ll struggle on with my secret language which has no vowells and no T and no R and no H or D on the keyboard. And I hope you’ll understand when I make a comment saying “Hell Jan, a bog fiend has a bugger glob that is very toughing and going blogal, but is still doping”.
( translation: Hello Jan, a boy friend has a bigger blog that is very touching and going global, but is still coping)
Food for Threadbare Gourmets
My version of ratatouille was on the menu last night. Himself had it with a lamb chop, I had it as is. I love it! The classic recipe has aubergines and peppers in it as well as tomatoes, but since, on behalf of my arthritis, I avoid stuff from the nightshade family, rather than have three forbidden hits, I leave out the aubergines. I substitute courgettes and mushrooms
After heating some olive oil, I simply chop and saute an onion untill soft, add some chopped mushrooms, chopped red and yellow peppers, followed by courgettes, and then lots of chopped tomatoes. I cook them all until soft, and remove the tomato skins as I go along. It usually needs topping up with more olive oil as it progresses. I might add a squeeze or so of tomato puree at the end, and of course, salt and black pepper. It’s all the better for sitting around, and can be eaten hot or cold. When I’m having it as a meal, I sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over it – lavishly – and mop up the juices with some warm crusty bread… a glass of wine also assists with the digestion of course!!!
Food for Thought
Beyond the night…
Somewhere afar, some
White tremendous daybreak…
Rupert Brooke 1887 – 1915 English poet