I was on the receiving end of a very nice compliment last night. Some of you will remember that, c'era una volta, once upon a time, I was, well, less than gracious in the acceptance of aforementioned praise. The old 'I am unworthy' of this, syndrome. Thankfully that was just a phase. Albeit a three decade phase. I am over it. You can now, officially and honestly, say anything you like. I will even demonstrate my understanding of this concept by talking it one step further; Say something nice, thank you, say something not-so-nice, thank you, too. Please also note the fine print that accompanies this latest VBA Bill of Rights, that states, "You are entitled to your opinion, and we will get along fabulously as long as it is in agreement with mine." That being said, should you be able to manufacture some consent, proving to me that your POV is the higher path, I am all ears. I have stood corrected on more than one occasion, finding over the years that humble pie don't taste all that bad if 'ya ladle enough ice cream atop. There is nothing you can to hide the fowl taste of crow, however.
The compliment was about this very site. Someone (a sober, responsible adult) actually said, while in conversation around a roaring fire last night, that this blog, "is a lot of fun". OK, yeah, well, that's cool, thank you. It is fun for ME. And a whole lot more. We try hard. At best we aim to entertain and inform, to inspire. At worst, I suppose, we merely acknowledge and report, pass along interesting things that have caught our eye or ear. Saluting the success, courage or creativity of others. We try to stay positive, upbeat, relentlessly marching down the path of enlightenment and discovery. We make mistakes. Take the occasional unadvised bifurcation. Unabashed mirth can sometimes be messy. We error. Several painful examples of the shaky grip with which I hold total journalistic control were cleverly used to illustrate:
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
And don't ever start a sentence with a conjunction.
Avoid cliches like the plague.
And also avoid annoying alliteration.
Be more or less specific.
Also, too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
No sentence fragments.
Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
One word sentences? Eliminate.
Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do.
Puns are for children not for groan adults.
Who needs rhetorical questions?
Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Being on the receiving end can be harrowing. One must possess skin the thickness of a white rhino. It was all in good fun. Indeed, I appreciate the opportunity to serve as inspiration for triathletes and stand up comedians alike. Laughter is superb medicine.
The great year known as 2011 is within hours of being history. I eagerly await the challenge that 2012 will bring. We accomplished a lot this year, let's continue that trend and get after it quickly and sustain the mojo for 366. Shall we?
To 2012. Salute.
The 'journalistic gaffes' are credited to Sarah Jenkins of the Yakima Herald-Republic and come from a Seattle Times executive director Michael R. Fancher op-ed piece dated October 25, 1998. The rest of the mistakes I take full responsibility for.
Pix: The glass is from Murano and the prosecco from Central Market by way of Valdobbiadene, Italy. Bernie by light of the fire. It was hot, but the iPhone's ability to deal with low light, was not. Cheers!