Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I've looked at clouds that way . . .

I've been deliberately writing in simple terms. One writing principle that guides me as a writer is write to express, not to impress. I steer clear of jargon or specialized language (language understood by certain groups of people only). If I have to use it for a mixed audience, I also have to explain it lengthily. I borrowed a book once written by a Filipino philosopher and I couldn't understand a single sentence in it! The philosophical jargon in it was amazing. I guess I need to have a master's or doctoral degree to understand it. There's a column in a national daily written by a medical doctor and readers who want to know more about the disease discussed in it end up more confused than enlightened. Maybe its proper place is in a medical journal?

Beginning writers make the mistake of using big words drawn from their overdeveloped vocabulary that will make readers want to run to the nearest dictionary. If you're using MSWord, enable the readability statistics in the spelling & grammar check under Tools. This is a useful tool for you to find out who can read what you just wrote.
When writing is clouded by jargon, how else can the writer communicate? The last time I checked communication is still a two-way process.

So, my gentle blogreader, take out your pen and paper and try your hand at deciphering what proverbs were obscured in the following:
  1. Persons of imbecilic mentality navigate in parameters which cherubic entities approach with trepidation.
  2. Pulchritude possesses profundity of a merely cutaneous nature.
  3. A mass of concentrated earthly material perennially rotating on its axis will not accumulate an accretion of bryophytic vegetation.
  4. It is not efficacious to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
  5. That prudent avis which matutinally deserts the coziness of its abode will not ensnare a vermiculate creature.
  6. Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous.
  7. Visible vapors that issue from carbonaceous materials are a harbinger of imminent conflagration.
  8. Domicile, not salty, not sour, not rancid, abode.
  9. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.
  10. Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.
Bonus - Guess this nursery rhyme:
scintillate, scintillate, globule of vivific
fain would i fathom thy nature specific,
loftily poised above the capacious
closest resembling a gem carbonaceous.

I compiled these from various sources.

Answers: 1. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread 2. Beauty is skin deep 3. A rolling stone gathers no moss 4. You can't teach an old dog new tricks 5. The early bird catches the worm 6. Everything that glitters is not gold 7. Where there is smoke, there is fire 8. Home sweet home 9. Birds of the same feather flock together 10. Spare the rod and spoil the child
Bonus: Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.

If you get 7 or more correct answers, quit your day job and run for public office.:-D

1 comment:

yllor said...

I just imagined if these sayings were said the way you wrote it, I would not understand them and the lesson they teach would have been lost to me. E number 9 lang naintindihan ko e. Natawa ko dun sa home sweet home. hehe