Of the billions of hours of video on YouTube, these six minutes of pontification on language by Stephen Fry are some of my favorite. This video is something of a capstone in a very important personal journey. A journey that began with a frustrated hatred of writing and ended with something altogether different. Before I go on, you really should watch the video. I’ll wait.
My less than sparkling history with writing begins in third grade where I learned I was an awful writer. Now you might say, comparatively, most third graders are awful writers, but even among my peers I was a special kind of awful. So special I was carted off to a special education class where I drew letters in a special pile of colored sand for what special purpose, other than keeping my normal teacher from reading another of my especially appalling sentences, I do not know. What I did know was that I was a bad writer. And that notion stuck with me through college. Continue reading