'Gey weet' as I sit here. An' yesterday was 'het'. The weather is about as predictable as anything else these days.
But one thing that is certain, is that my stint here on New Gateway is coming to an end.
This is the penultimate editorial before I conclude my stint of 30, in small tribute to Leatham's 30 Volumes of the original. There was never any way I could compete. But in the two and a half years I've been doing this, I've learned a lot and gained even more respect for Leathams energy, enthusiasm and commitment.
Criticism is easy, when it is 'that's no verra guid' variety. But few who criticise put their own talents or effort on the line.
All too frequently I hear complaints about authors - it used to simply be dismissed as 'vanity' publishing, but digital technology has opened the genie's box and it's now easier than ever for 'voices' to be heard. Which is, of course, a double edged sword.
So let's think a bit about standards. It would be lovely if everyone was well educated enough to be able to write perfect prose without typos or errors. It would also be lovely if people were a bit more kind to each other's creative endeavours. Those who criticise most do tend to be those with the 'best' education. 'Best' in the sense that they have been through schools that dinned in the rules (moral, social and grammar) but they mostly have one other thing in common - an inability to accept, or even thole (and certainly not celebrate) diversity.
I am not either endorsing a 'rush to the bottom' or a 'dumbing down' of anything. But I am suggesting that there are worse things in the world than typos or split infinitives. We have learned (or some of us have) that 'emotional' intelligence is also a 'thing.' It's something sadly lacking in many of the privileged (often who do not even see themselves as that - like us all, they consider themselves 'normal.) who rant and rave about 'bad' writing.
I'll nail my colours to the mast and say that in my opinion it's the ideas behind the words, the concepts, that make writing/and reading a value to the individual and society. We should, of course, strive to be a) the best we can be and b) the clearest we can in communication - but we should also recognise that different people have different limits, experiences and, yes, let's admit it, education. If a typo spoils your day, or your reading, you perhaps need to go and reappraise why you read.
I've read many incredible stories (and articles) by people who can't work out where an apostrophe goes. Mostly it doesn't matter. Sometimes it does. But if they are transporting me to another world, be that fact or fiction, I'm just grateful they've put in the time to share.
So let's all take J.M.Barrie's dictum on board - 'shall we make a new rule of life: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary' - in respect of what we read (and write)
Perhaps you'd like to cogitate on that while you read this month's articles. Errors there will be. Time pressures there always are. Money there is none. But as Barrie also said 'the fault, Dear Brutus, lies not with the stars but within ourselves.'
Open your mind fully and you will find much less to 'criticise' in life and much more to revel in.
To find past articles please use monthly archives.