What's the word . . .
In the medium of blogging, I sense a tension between the desire for a colloquial tone and the need for precise diction. In the absence of visual and aural cues, we rely on the naked word. At school this afternoon, while cleaning out my files in preparation for the new year, I came across this journal entry.
Today, one of my seventh graders decided to use a
thesarus to improve her writing. Her original
"The Monkey's Paw" is a story set in a small home.
"The Monkey's Paw" is an allegory set in a brothel.
Lisa, I said, do you know what a brothel is?
Yeah, she replied triumphantly. I looked it up -- it
Yes, but do you know what _kind_ of house?
As an English teacher, it is easy to lament that internet communication has deteriorated writing skills. (Ever get an e-mail that looks like this? “i want 2 know asap if I can give the paper 2 u late ttfn”?). Blogging, however, gives me a weekly lesson in audience and word choice. I know how to write for class parents, I know how to write for my students, I know how to write for my professors. But six months into blogging, I still wonder what tone should I take with an audience I *think* I know — I’ve spent my life among Mormons — but which is realistically a mystery to me. This fall, the first unit on the docket is “personal narrative and memoir.” I imagine my lesson plans will look somewhat different than they did last September.