Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Author

Author: (n) a writer of a book, article, or report.

I guess they have to say something about me.dictionary with letter A

I’m talking about those individuals who are assigned the mission of introducing me at concerts or public speaking events.

So I do allow them to call me an author.

In the practical sense, I have written 12 books and pen 3 daily blogs. I guess I am within the boundaries of the definition.

But honestly, an author is someone who has an idea, finds a way of communicating it and presents it in such a way that it causes the reader to be transformed. Up to that point, you are merely practicing penmanship or speculating on paragraph formation.

Here’s what really makes you an author:

Did you have a good idea?

Did you keep it in a vernacular which is understandable?

Were your readers impacted?

Without these three elements you’re just writing.

So I have to be honest:

  • Sometimes I am a writer
  • A paragraph carver
  • A shifter of words
  • A predicate to a nominative

And then there are times when I am inspired by simplicity instead of motivated by complexity–and I put down a few concepts which rattle the heart in the chest and awaken the mind to a new possibility.

If Shakespeare were alive today, he would reject his own material as outdated. He would laugh at those people who revere his syntax and he would learn the street lingo of our time, and author from his heart.

If you’re going to be an author, you have to realize that sometimes you just write. Not everything that comes out of your computer is inspired, nor worth public consumption.

But it is through the error that the trial gains beauty.

So I will continue to write, and on rare occasions, will author something worthy to be considered by my fellow-humans.

This is not a position of false humility, but rather, the realization of the limits of my scope and the tenuous nature of my mortality.

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Arithmetic

dictionary with letter A

Arithmetic: (n) the branch of mathematics dealing with the manipulation and properties of numbers.

Arithmetic is definitely one of them.

It is one of the four basic skills required to maintain an adult life without constantly looking inept.

I wish I had known that when I was in high school. But fortunately, I did learn enough addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to handle my finance and everyday activities without always requiring a calculator in my hand, with numbers too tiny to punch.

Would you be curious about the other three?

Number 2. Reading.

Yes, often people ask us to read aloud–and if we stumble over words or are too slow, it is immediately surmised that we are mentally challenged.

3. Writing. Although grammar can be a naughty mistress or a nagging wife, there are certain qualifications necessary to be part of the human family. One should know that “you are,” as a contraction, is spelled y-o-u’r-e, not y-o-u-r.

If you are not familiar with several of these common mishaps-in-print, you will be laughed at by the snobs and bewilder the kinder folk.

4. Can you make a two-minute speech on your feet without spending 72 seconds of it explaining why you’re not good at it? We are a gregarious race, and demand that those around us have the ability to articulate their feelings without having too many a-a-h-s, umms, or … what was I saying?

Arithmetic is very important. Without it, things just don’t add up.

 

 

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Are

dictionary with letter A

Are: (v) 2nd person singular present tense of be

Sometimes life, as it comes our way, is decorated with such brilliance that we really have no excuse for ignoring the show.

Even grammar presents intuition to us floundering humans.

For instance, “I am“…but “you are.

“I are” does not exist unless you happen to travel deep into the back woods of American seclusion.

I don’t get to be an “are.” It is my responsibility to constantly be reinventing myself toward the light bulb and away from the cave of darkness.

On the other hand, you are allowed to be an “are.”

And since I have no business attempting to change, reform or translate you into a new being, I must accept what you have proven to be over time rather than what I wish you to become.

If we understood this, we would have much less conflict and fewer family arguments around the dinner table.

  • I am.
  • You are.

You are permitted to be a past tense of yourself.

On the other hand, it is required in those who have been entrusted with life to take responsibility for their own daily growth, to become an “am” instead of settling for their “are.”

So even though it’s a little word, it contains a Renaissance of meaning.

  • I am going to try to do better today.
  • You are going to be who you are.
  • And I am going to accept it.

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