Thursday, May 20, 2010
By Guest Blogger Jeri Westerson
I wasn’t an English major. Too bad. Would have been handy now that I’m a published author, but I’m still pretty happy with my art degree and put it to use as a graphic artist for about fifteen crazy years in Los Angeles.
But now that the written word is my brush and the paper my canvas, I get picky about how people use their words. Or letters.
LOL. WTF. All sorts of short cuts for people to quickly type their answers to others in this electronic age we find ourselves in. And I don’t think I even mind it if you’re texting. But come on. In an email, you can at least type out the words. We have time and space for communication, after all.
But I think the one that puts me off the most is IMO. That is, In My Opinion, followed up by IMHO, In My Humble Opinion. I have seen writers tack these onto their posts to soften a harsh criticism or a bald statement. They have even attached it as a suffix to their missives just to prepare any hapless readers about what was to come. But I have news. It’s always just your opinion. You wrote it. It’s your opinion, humble or otherwise. It’s a redundancy to say it and if I were correcting your paper in English class I would tell you so. And I wouldn’t have to attach an IMO because you’d know it was my opinion. I’m the one with the red pencil scratching all over your paper.
I know it’s just a bad habit, or our way of diffusing unpleasant news or statements. Maybe women, who are used to being nurturers, may feel it's the ladylike thing to do. After all, we usually don't want to make waves or hurt other people's feelings. Saying it's just our opinion is our way of declaring, "Hey, not everyone feels that way!"
But I say own it. If you’ve got something to say, say it. We all know it’s your opinion. You don’t have to tell us twice.
Well, that’s just my two cents worth, anyway.
And what's bugging YOU today?
Jeri Westerson is the opinionated author of the multi-award nomined Crispin Guest Medieval Noir novels. Her newest is SERPENT IN THE THORNS. You can read an excerpt and see the book trailer on her website www.JeriWesterson.com. And don't miss Jeri's blog, Getting Medieval.