One unexpected benefit of writing blogs is learning something new from my readers. I look through the comments, in themselves an encouraging sign that people do read my blogs, and often find something of interest. Among the many badly written, off-topic rantings, I find both ideas and words that are new to me.
My last blog prompted a reader to comment on ‘Whataboutism’. Although rejected by the TOI spelling checker, this word really does exist. It is a variant of the well-known ‘tu quoque’ logical fallacy, an attempt to discredit someone’s position by accusing them of hypocrisy without refuting or disproving their argument. Sadly, I could see no connection between this splendid word and my blog. However, I have stored the word for possible future use, I’ll get it in somewhere.
I have learnt to be very careful with my words. It is all too easy to offend someone with an off-hand remark, a careless word. As an example, I started writing this morning ………..
“As I awake to a new day and glance through my window at the blue sky ……”
No, no, no, in these times of coronavirus, sadly there are people who do not wake, we must think of them. And many readers, living in overcrowded slums, have no window. The blue sky sounds innocuous enough but would be like a red flag to a bull to those on the left side of the political spectrum. We all know that, in the Colours of Politics, the Tories are blue, the Labour Party is red. I try again.
“It’s a new day, I see the sky ……”
Much better, although there are many blind people who cannot see the sky. And every day is new; have we ever woken up to an old, already-used day?
So, I have my first sentence.
I continue with my blog.
“I collect the morning newspaper from the front path and sit down to eat my breakfast.”
Well, here’s the thing. I’ve just said that it is day, so it won’t be the evening newspaper and of course it’s my breakfast, I wouldn’t eat someone else’s. And who eats breakfast standing up?
“I collect the newspaper from the front path and eat breakfast.”
Let’s get this right, it doesn’t matter where I found the newspaper and it is obvious that I eat breakfast, not drink it.
“Newspaper and breakfast.”
My blog is coming along well.
“Day. Newspaper and breakfast.”
I am not sure that the “and” adds anything useful. I am left with three short sentences that say all I need to say. At last, I have my blog!
“Day. Newspaper. Breakfast.”
What about that!