Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mumbles and Grunts

Although not something dwelt on often, it was thrust into my consciousness recently and there it remains. I’m referring to how I speak versus how I write.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who is also an English teacher; twice she corrected me on poor word choice. At the time I just laughed it off and continued whatever it was that I was telling her. It was later that I began to worry about it. A self-analysis began that I’m now continually addressing, even in this writing.

Maybe I should go back to the beginning. I grew up in a rural environment on the Texas South Plains where verbal communication consisted of profanity-laced and testosterone-loaded mumbles and grunts. Hanging out in the office of a cotton gin listening to farmers talk over a game of dominoes is not the best place to learn syntax and good grammar. Unfortunately, I spent many more hours as a child in that and similar environments than in classrooms. Even during the years immersed in the education system learning better, I didn’t practice verbally what I’d been taught.

Eventually, I broke into the television industry and became a news writer/reporter and so began my first foray into using our language correctly. At the time, I didn’t notice—in fact, totally blind to my habit of reverting to grammatically challenged mumbles and grunts once the red light on the camera went off.

It’s not that I’m into secular flagellation, but the cold truth is when I’m drafting a novel and my imagination is running full-bore through my fingertips the result is the print version of those mumbles and grunts. I had a high school English teacher, now long deceased, that I’m sure cringes with every other keystroke as she looks over my shoulder from her heavenly vantage point. I wager that I spend much more time editing than even the most inexperienced writers whose childhoods were spent around people speaking the language as it was intended.

Now I’m too conscious of it, correcting myself so often that the train of thought jumps track and I end up staring, unable to remember what I was saying. Grammatically challenged mumbles and grunts has evolved into conversationally challenged red faces and question marks.

We have to go with our strengths though; right? Thank God for perseverance. That’s where I shine.

Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/Spring 2010
"Anne Bonny, Where Are You?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/May 2010

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