Saturday, May 14, 2011

To err is inhuman!

Working as a professional writer has its own barbs. And getting fresh talent to work to your satisfaction can take its toll. The situation is at times hopeless enough to drive you to doing the writing assignments yourself! At least a spew of recent interviews conducted, proved to be so being overwhelmingly mind- boggling, that I was not surprised at my own irritation.

These days, marveling at the written language (English in this case) has become a rarity. It is only with a very few blogs, articles or books that one gets the definitive satisfaction of reading good English! Is it my squeamishness or is the rich standard of English drastically getting lost amidst the onset of the technological information revolution??

The internet and phone messaging have anyway ruined whatever little writer's creativity, one would have nurtured in the past. Giving shape to your own thoughts and letting your pen (sadly replaced by the clatter of the keyboard) fly, seems like ancient history. The shameless copy-paste era has long set in and made cripples of several thousands who could otherwise have become good to average writers in their own right. Today, if you can do a decent job out of tweaking (read plagiarism) others' written content, you are a writer in great demand.

Plagiarism, a close cousin of the word 'inspiration', I believe is as widespread in the world as AIDS is, with the exception that very little concern is shown towards it. Of course, there are intermittent spurts of imitation detection which are but cunning ploys of the desperate and infamous writer to make headlines!! In fact, the respect both plagiarism and plagiarists command can be shamefully overwhelming at times! Run any plagiarism software through most articles you read today and you will be surprised. In fact, the atrocity that English grammar and spelling is enduring is no less than the suffering of the third war countries during recession!

So who is responsible for the untimely demise of originality and creative innovation in everyday writing? Is it us, the audience who are ready to lap up every possible bit of news irrespective of the writer, the language and articulation behind it? Or is it the writers, who for various unknown purposes continue to perpetuate English writing in its weakest of avatars?

And what then, is the solution? For some, silent forbearance of the situation has always been the accepted norm. I would like to ignore them (there is not much you can do to that category, anyway). But for those who are in sync with what I’m saying , it is time, we refused to "read" the ordinary" , to rise above acceptance of the poorly written content and tighten our belts to welcome more original writers, whose thoughts and words are still capable of stirring some of those long forgotten emotions within us.


  1. Well written.

    Everyone wants things to be done in jiffy, be it writing or reading. With increasing impact of movies and audio books, the new age has rather stopped reading good English.

    Suggesting you to do an Anna Hazare to stop the literary corruption. ☺

  2. Interesting thoughts.

    I have an additional opinion - how about those who are learning in this world of writing? How do we motivate them if we don't read their ordinary writings?

  3. @Shivraj... I think that is becoming imminent. It is very sad to see the depleting standards.

    @Vyankatesh... There is a thin line between those who have taken the language for granted & who are striving to find their feet in it! The latter should be identified & guided, so that they can become aware of what standards are expected out of them. I believe that the better English they read, the better they write!

  4. Amarjeet PatnaikMay 15, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Beautifully written, or rather expressed.

    At the end, it’s about how we express isn't it. I must confess that I wouldn't have read this if it wasn't for the writer cause I am biased for the writer who is SO dear to me. I am a great admirer of language in its most purest form and hate expressions like ‘maine find out kiya hey”(God bless both Kalidas and Shakespear!). So being educated in English I have a special feeling for English but still watch people in awe when they speak the purest Oriya or Hindi or Urdu. Every language should be given its full due, and that’s what gets me hitched to any language when its spoken and written in its unadulterated form.
    Yes, we are going fast and we are making the language go shorter and it’s shameful, but it’s not the end. There is hope, as we know people who love the language and that may be the only language they know, could be English, Hindi and their mother tongue. They are still unaware of “The Social Network”, they still speak the language in the most purest form, and express it without prejudice but definitely with LOTS of pride, and see we have people like you, inspiring to be Original and Creative. So yes, we are still there.

  5. Apart from some classic writers like Amitav Ghosh or Vikram Seth, I've stopped reading Indian books altogether. Blogs - Don't even get me started on them. The younger generation seems to think colloquial English suffices in the written form as well. Incorrigible construction of sentences, absolutely horrible prose, meaninglessly long sentences - they spoil your reading appetite at times.

    PS: Did you mean third war countries or third world countries?