I teach. I teach the dreaded English composition course all college freshman are required to take. I know that every semester I will face business majors, nursing students, art majors, computer programmers and a litany of other students whose course of study appears to have little need for writing.
I feel for them. I really do.
But then I ask them: If you can’t use proper grammar, put together a sentence with correct structure and syntax, use a vocabulary with words larger than the ones required for texting, will you impress a prospective employer? A professor? That cute girl or guy you meet in a bar? (Really, they get THIS). And G-d bless my students, they sit there and listen. I think they hear me. Either that, or they’re silently mocking me as still stuck in the dark ages. You know, the era of the now extinct Thank You Note.
Of course, I beg to differ. I’m a relationship expert and as such, I know that nothing will sink a relationship faster than a poor choice of words. If you tend to limit your vocabulary to four-letter words, (beyond l-o-v-e) well, that ought to do a lot for your marriage. If you shun any form of reading or writing or speaking intelligently because you’re happy to substitute all noise forms with guttural belching, especially when you’re in front of the TV, that will do wonders for your relationship, too. Guaranteed.
Conversely, the man or woman who writes or speaks meaningful, thoughtful and loving prose – especially if it accompanies a shiny object (men and women have different ideas about what a shiny object ought to be) – will earn enough brownie points to sustain his or her relationship at least through a month’s worth of dirty laundry and snoring.
Most likely if you’re reading my blog, you’re not one of my students. (If you are, don’t forget the reading assignment for Friday.) But I hope you, too, will keep on writing. Especially as well-written newspapers continue their vanishing act, and fewer literary works are published by publishers.
In fact, anytime you feel like talking, drop me a line. Or two.