Dear Mod Writer,
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about rhetoric and the evolution of words in our society.
Often you might hear about Webster’s adding new words to its reference, or even building on to the definition of existing words. (The most recent examples I can think of are the addition of the word “selfie” and further identifying the word “literally” as a form of hyperbole.)
While these changes might anger some people, it’s important to remember that the English language, as you know, is constantly evolving. As a modern writer, you are aware that being angry about the fluidity of language is a waste of time.
Your energy is better spent examining these changes and using your findings to tell you more about the society you live in and where it might be headed. That’s why I’m happy to announce that I will be starting a series on this very topic – The Language and Rhetoric of Modern America.
In true Mod Writer fashion, these posts will weigh the differences and similarities between the older and current trends in language and rhetoric.
As of yet I am uncertain how long this series will last, but for now I plan on it being a staple in my regular posts. I invite you to please join in the discussions, as your input will only further our studies and knowledge on the topic at hand. I also ask that you submit any topics you want to learn more about on this subject.
Finally, I’d like to officially welcome the submission of guest posts. If you have a fresh idea or concept for a post that would be suitable for The Mod Writer and its readers, please feel free to submit your idea to me through the contact form and I will get back with you ASAP.
Until next time, thanks for reading and inspiring me.
Image Credit: 50 Watts
I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but
that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.” -The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
You might remember this quote from Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury when the father character gives his son a watch. It’s a powerful line, and a bit depressing, but it’s worth investigating in terms of time for the modern writer.
How often, as writers, are we able to forget about time? From time sheets to deadlines, the numbers on the clock are constantly in the back of our mind.
It’s ironic that Mr. Compson would present his son with a watch as a way to forget time. He presents time as our ultimate ruler – an entity we can not defeat. It’s a tricky opponent too. The novel is constantly jumping around in time – appearing to go fast at some points, at others slow. It’s a very realistic presentation of our own concept of time. Some occasions we would like time to speed up, others we wish time would slow down.
The text suggests that the only way we can have peace about the notion of time is to allow ourselves to forget about it every now and then.
I think acceptance is the best lesson we can learn here. We can accept that we will never beat time; it keeps moving whether we acknowledge it or not, and we often do have to acknowledge it. We can’t stop deadlines or time sheets, but we can try to “forget” them in an effort to let go of the stress associated with these things.
All of us has a limited amount of time. When working to accomplish a goal, I think we should try not to focus on the time, which can lead to stress, but on the ideas and the work to be done. In the end it won’t matter how much time it took – you’ll always wish it had taken less time, but as long as you are proud of your efforts and feel they are successful, the time will have been well spent.
What do you think of Faulkner’s quote on time? How do you deal with the stress associated with writing and time? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Image Credit: Chris Dlugosz