Sunday, May 26, 2019

Communication Error: Grammaticalization of the writer

March 6, 2019 by Nate Downe, contributing writer

Sitting on the edge of your seat, posited at the end of the beginning of the starting line. Gears shifting without synchronicity. Flailing rubber particulates from rotating tires that move without the appearance of going anywhere. Characterless smoke clouds pervade left and right. The sky opens up just as the snowfall reverses its direction and ascends toward the horizon. Momentum has spitefully left you, and its overspending has set you back yet another lap. The sprint nowhere has completed its obligatory rhythm once more.

The words appear: “If you write anything on your computer…” This statement is paired with any number of titles, such as “Write the Future,” and some even as bold as “Engineering a Better Future for Girls.” Breathtaking. Obviously, all of which are in reach by a simple click of the advertisement in front of you, an advertisement for a glorified spellcheck. A spellcheck that, for some reason, needs access to a frighteningly large portion of your computer.

Communication Error is a column in every issue of Nexus looking at communication issues.

Redundant propositions, such as “if you write anything on your computer,” can present serious issues to the writer. For example, these types of questions stretch themselves so thin that they can be taken as common sense, but in fact they all too often bypass reason altogether. Thus, if unexamined and taken as a no-brainer, escaping them is near impossible, as if by virtue of these lines existing you are already interlaced within them—you are on your computer. Perhaps, it might have well just asked, “If you breathe, eat, and shit…” 

Grammiziliation, as it is postulated here, is the adjustment of the writer (and of their writing) for which the understanding and knowledge of the writer’s language is not permissibly understood before it is cheaply and hastily quickened to its end, or to its conclusion.

In other words, if one must use training wheels on their bicycle when they learn to ride, eventually the crutch or assistance of the training wheels is no longer needed and the conclusion is that the rider has successfully understood their craft and the proper use of their tool within its context. However, the grammaticalization of the writer, facilitated by grammiziliation from free software, has led to knowing how to ride a full-size bike, but with the difference of when stopping, the bike falls over (without autocorrect, you still don’t know how to spell on paper).

Tautologies like these, like free grammar software, are seductive because they need no further explanation—you can write without writing! they soberly repeat themselves, as if they are common sense. There is no argument to be made against them; any attempt to make one is quickly reproached.

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