‘He Do the Police in Different Voices’: On Speech and Language Policing

I first read this a couple of weeks ago, and I have kept thinking about it. The thoughts on ‘strong declarative sentences’, are particularly making me think. Firstly, that I too don’t like them, and secondly, how often do I use them, nonetheless.

Jeanne de Montbaston

“And I’ll tell you another thing about the way women don’t Talk Proper …”
Filippo Lippi, Man and Woman at a Casement. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to speak, as T. S. Eliot puts it, ‘in different voices’. We use language as an index of belonging. At the moment, there’s an idiolect, which I’d like to imagine would immediately tell me whether or not I’m in the presence of the sisterhood. ‘Silencing’ is the new favourite Participle Of Oppression for all parties. Fourth wavers talk about language as a form of literal violence. Radfems say unsisterly things about fourth wavers and bite our tongues. We all thank the goddess for Rebecca Solnit coining the term ‘mansplaining’, and Deborah Cameron writes brilliant critiques of all the idiotic pseudo-scientific arguments that all misogyny would disappear if only women would learn to Talk…

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#CrimeWritersInCafesProcrastinating – Howard Linskey reveals his procrastination habits! #TheChosenOnes

Funny and illuminating interview with an author about procrastination. The author’s description of his writing process is fascinating, especially the way that he doesn’t write chronologically.

crime thriller girl

Today is the first of a new regular feature – Crime Writers In Cafes Procrastinating! As the title suggests, it’s all about the lengths writers go to procrastinate when they should be writing, and how they (eventually) manage to win against the temptation of the path of procrastination to finish their books.

First up for a grilling about his procrastination habits is the fabulous Howard Linskey whose latest crime novel is published this week.

Welcome, Howard! So tell me all about your latest book – The Chosen Ones…

Thanks Steph. Great to be here. ‘The Chosen Ones’ begins when a young woman called Eva wakes inside a large metal box with no idea how she got there. She understands she is being held captive but has no idea why. Investigative journalists, Tom Carney and Helen Norton, team up with Detective Sergeant Ian Bradshaw to investigate her disappearance and quickly learn…

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Anger is just sad’s bodyguard.

This made me think. I confess I am unsure if I entirely agree; but it has made me think: which is perhaps more valuable.

A Writer's Life

When I first read the quote above, I had no clue what it meant. I couldn’t form the words into any semblance of understanding. Then it hit me and I understood with every fiber of my being.  Like a bodyguard protecting a client, we hide our sadness behind anger.   Anger is our shield to protect us from exposing our emotions to the world.

So much of the world lives on the edge between sadness and happiness.  The cars and houses and huge TV’s don’t bring the happiness expected.  Instead, sadness settles deep inside, a loss we might not even understand.  Because we won’t – or aren’t able – to admit the sadness at the center of our supposed ‘search for happiness,’ we pretend the sadness isn’t there.  We get angry at the people, events, politicians, (add your own favorites) we ‘think’ are keeping us from the happiness we deserve.

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Completions and communions

To spend a year reading the entire works of Shakespeare is an extraordinary feat, of endurance if nothing else. And yet, this person did; and then wrote about what he learnt, how he felt, and how the task affected him.

A great blog, and besides we share the same favourite Shakespeare quote…

Shakespeare Confidential

Not long after I finished the complete works, I popped into a bookstore. I knew exactly where to find him. He has his own section. He always has his own section.

I strutted straight over. Shakespeare.

Top to bottom, shelf by shelf, I eyed all the Macbeth’s and Much Ado About Nothing’s, all the Romeo and Juliet’s and Richard III’s. I puffed out my chest. I cocked back my chin.

Think your so tough? I said to myself. I read you. I pointed to Hamlet. I read you. I pointed to The Tempest. I read you and you and you. I even read you, singling out a copy of Cymbeline I was surprised, and impressed, to see stocked. Whatcha got on me?    

Wait. I stepped off.

What do you got on me, Shakespeare?

What did I…

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