Sep
11
2013

Quote of the Day, I Dunno: We Just DO It edition.

I’ve had this exact same reaction as Tycho.

People occasionally compliment me on my writing: they will say something like, “I like your writing,” which is constructed in such a way that I cannot wriggle from it.  I accept the compliment because my momma raised me right; refusal of a gift is the first sin.  But this is respiration for me.  This is the sound of me breathing out; I can’t not do it.  Though I suppose I could stop, and die.

I know what shape a piece of language has to conform to, and once I have the mold, words just fall into it.  [snip] I’m not telling you this to make you think that I am clever or interesting – I’m trying to explain why it is difficult to absorb compliments for what feel like autonomic responses.  Most of the words I’m using are just English words, right off the shelf, with the occasional aftermarket mod.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything that could not be accomplished as well or better with refrigerator magnets.

I’m happier to accept compliments than Tycho is, but I share the same bemusement as he does. Writing is very straightforward for me: I start, and when I’m done, I stop. It all works out, somehow.

Moe Lane

PS: If it makes anybody feel any better; I can’t get my head around learning how to swim.  I just can’t seem to get the knack.  I’m horrible at foreign languages, too.  I wouldn’t mind having either of those things become suddenly untrue.

6 Comments

  • BigGator5 says:

    I can’t whistle. I know how to whistle, but I can’t seem to be able to do it. It’s weird.
    .
    I lament that I can’t whistle, but at the same time made peace with the fact that it’s out of my reach. I’m one of God’s own rare prototypes, so I am bound to have a few flaws here and there.

  • Finrod says:

    I write like I swim: slowly, and with a great deal more effort than would be needed by someone better at it than I am. That’s why I admire good writing: I think of the Herculean effort it would take me to write that well.
    What I can do, though, is write code. I can churn out code like a good writer can churn out prose. That and identifying musical pitches (what is sometimes called ‘perfect pitch’), which was just something I was born with: I can’t imagine not being able to do it.

  • Spegen says:

    We are all born with different wiring and it is common to appreciate the skills others have that you lack. Sometimes this skills seem like they should be more encompasing but are not such as Finrods example. I have a gift of trivia but can’t remember the names of people I met yesterday.

  • Phil Davis says:

    Mine would be reading which meshes well with Moe’s effortless prose. Mom taught me to read before I started school (out of self defense I think) and I learned that though I do math like I’m carrying a boulder on my back I seem to consume the written word quite a bit faster than a lot of people I know. I can’t remember the names of people I met yesterday either, but I always chalked that up to the incipient senility.

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