7/07/2014
Innit?

in·nit contraction (ɪnɪt) (1) slang for "isn't it", used in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia; (2) used as a replacement for a negative tag question, irrespective of person, number and verb; (3) an exclamation to the affirmative.

One of the pieces of feedback I got in my old job concerned my use of the word "innit" on my articles. My editor said I should not use the word, because it's not a proper English word - and besides, she doesn't know what it means.

I would've contended that it was slang, that my use of the word is me being conversational to my readers - you can't not be conversational when writing about television shows - but I realized she has a point. I've seen "innit" used in places, mostly British ones, and my lessons on context clues back in elementary school has equipped me to, at least, infer what it really means. But I never really know what it really means, so I dropped it.

Today I found myself using the term again - not that I stopped using it completely; just on my articles - in the middle of a conversation with Claud, one that has gone from the wonders of blocking people on Facebook to the non-wonders of having to explain your preference for non-fiction over fiction, and thus, why you can only name favorite topics instead of favorite authors. In between, there's me waxing lyrical over how the Internet has ruined things for humanity. I can't count the number of times people who I meet online warn me that they do not have social skills, like it's a badge you ought to wear with pride. I mean, aren't we talking?

And, of course, there's also me waxing lyrical about my blogging. It's a boring topic. I know I bore you with such things. It's a thing I've written about many times here, mostly rooted in my insecurities, about how people don't read me by default, much more engage with me, because, well, I don't know.

"Reader's perspective, aka mine: mas well-written naman ang mga entries mo," Claud said.

"Well-written, but doesn't capture the imagination," I countered. "Or, sanay na ako masyado sa sarili ko. It's [been] almost ten years."

I was browsing her blog by then, and inside I was like a wide-eyed kid, only I was an adult and I wasn't exactly jumping with glee. I hope you get the idea. You see a perspective you haven't seen before, and you're quite excited about it, at least at the beginning. I've known Claud for years, and I know what she can do and what she likes and what she stands for, but the distance is sufficient enough for me to have that not-giddy-but reaction when I flick through her archives and see her post about a Japanese band I've only heard of in passing.

"I disagree. But! For anyone, there's always room for improvement, and also room to explore more styles!"

"Exactly. Which explains my, yes, listicles."

"Actually, na-realize ko na better maglilista ako ng mga bagay than be intimidated by the idea of writing in paragraphs. Mas nakakasulat ako. So to each his own 'yan."

"Iba lang kasi takbo ng isip ko. Exactly. Masyado akong academic, at least lately, I realize."

"Me too! I'm a better technical writer than a creative writer 'ata. Also, a better editor than a writer. Oh well. Practice pa."

Not a few times recently have I thought that I've reached a rut on my blogging. Maybe it's me spreading myself too thin - I started earthings! mostly as a writing exercise, to limit everything to one paragraph, lately unwieldly - or maybe it's real life saying hello. You know life, how this wonderful, freakishly wild thing can put you in a box. I have a planner and it's being put to good use lately, because of all the things I juggle. You live by that, and sooner it gets hard to, well, be freakishly wild. To be alive, to put it in a patronizing manner.

Or maybe it's me and my recent tendency to edit myself. I no longer write spontaneously. I feel ashamed when I read back on the stuff I've written years ago - the "I wrote that crap?" mindset we all have - so now, in combination with all of the humorists I read and the podcasts I listen to, I have the need for structure. Dramatic structure. This goes there, that goes there, for proper build-up, for best impact, that sort of thing. I'm proud of what I end up with, but I get bored.

So, maybe, I should write paragraph-long entries here.

Maybe I should start reading other genres. Less of the New Journalism-type books, less of the David Sedaris, and more, well, fiction. The young adult books I frequently deride for being the same template, perhaps. Maybe watch horror movies. Maybe watch soap operas. I don't know. Anything, perhaps, that it takes so I cease being bored with myself?

But that wouldn't quite work. I'm not saying this as a change-averse person, but my brain's wired to do certain things more than others. It's why everything I write boils down to privileged people getting their way over those below them. It's why everything I see squares in on that feeling of isolation, knowing that you're actually alone even if you're together. (This isn't necessarily my sentiment at the moment.) Recurring themes, if you must call it. Like me using "innit" when I get the chance.

Yet "innit" was off my dictionary for a year, at least. I can learn to see things differently. I can stop being so bored of myself.

And your responses...

Left a comment yesterday but somehow it didnt show up. I like the "writing exercise" idea of your Earthings blog Niko. Sometimes I do know what to write, I just dont know how to write them so I usually end up writing about nothing haha. Remember the 50-word story we had for Wrifilm before? I miss that, sana I can incorporate that exercise with blogging din, but mine has become more of a personal diary so wala rin haha. sorry OT na.

Blogger Jacqueline Uy7/08/2014     

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