Lost in the Edit

I have noticed in myself, of late, a dreadful tendency to take my own views very much too seriously.  It is becoming an all too common practice for me to truncate a post by cutting out the entire final – and unbearably preachy – paragraph because I am aware of how easily the written word can be misinterpreted – especially with my own dreadful standard of grammar.  A single comma in the wrong place can make the difference between irony and deep offence.  I am constantly teetering just a semi-colon away from a series of ‘isms’ so grievous that some of them may well not have been invented yet – except, of course, by the lawyers, who will be primed to suck the life out of both sides at a moment’s notice.  Whatever was in my head as these closing statements were written, had obviously vacated it by the time the words hit the paper and I am forced to burst my own self-important bubble by hitting the ‘Delete’ button on the final caffeine-drenched sentences for fear of finding myself (unfairly, I must stress) in the dock with Katy Hopkins and Piers Morgan.  How can a single paragraph written to, for instance, express my utter loathing of, let’s say racism, sound like something that was summarily cut from Mein Kampf on the grounds of extremism a mere twenty-four hours after it was written?

I am mono-lingual, but it has become apparent to me that my grip on the one language in which I am capable of writing, is tenuous at best.  The only blessing is that most of the time, I do manage to spot it before I publish.  What leaves my head as a simple truth, an undeniable fact, could hit WordPress as an incoherent, pompous rant were it not for my gift with the Delete button and the foresight to never presume that saying what I really think will ever sound like what I really think.  There are so many evils I would like to address, but I am painfully aware that I could only do so by sounding unbelievably pretentious or unforgivably glib.  Occasionally a joke can make a point, but only if somebody else is willing to see it.

Somehow this only ever really occurs in the final, concluding few sentences and almost always I can get by perfectly well by just cutting them out.  Reading my output commonly requires a kind of leap of faith that makes compensating for a missing paragraph an absolute doddle.  I am certain that many of you will have spotted this before now: a penultimate passage pointing unequivocally towards a point being made, but, in practice, finding itself merely abutting the final weak joke that was originally intended to make it clear that I realised that, although well-meaning, I was perfectly aware of the fact that I was talking tripe.

Except that I don’t think I am.  I think I am speaking the truth.  I am just expressing it very badly – and that is what I will tell the judge..

Anyway, I just felt that you should know, that if you feel a piece ends unduly abruptly or (heaven forfend) in a sentence that appears to have little to associate it with all that went before, that is probably why.  Embrace the fact that I have expunged it – not just from your copy, but also from mine – and it will never be spoken of again.  My views will not have changed (if ever you want to know, just ask) but I may well have just grown up enough to know that they are mine alone and that nobody else is in the least bit interested.

And when it all winds up without a joke?  Well I might have had to cut that too…

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9 thoughts on “Lost in the Edit

  1. These days everyone seems to take exception to all those things we used to say that were perfectly harmless until someone decided they weren’t. My delete button is busy too and sometimes I ask myself what is was I was actually trying to say anyway….

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