Who needs spelling when you have a heart*?

What I really, really wanted for Christmas was a pair of custom made ballet boots, rather like these:

Doris Kloster: Photographs by Doris Kloster Publisher: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 1996

I did not get them, which is just as well because we really do need a new settee and chairs for the living room. A new living room suite will cost about the same as the boots and more of the family will fit on the former than the latter.

Earlier this week my Blog-Mentor, the Not Drowning Mother gave me a gift that cheered me up almost as much as the boots would have done.

Here it is:

The positive side of receiving this I Love Your Words Blog Award is that The Not Drowning Mother (The NDM) someone who inspired me to start blogging, has published some extremely flattering things about me. Her humour and her writing discipline are just two of her talents that I aspire to but am sadly unlikely to ever achieve.  The attention is very welcome though and probably  enough to ensure that I am nice to everyone in Casa Della Calcei for at least the length of time that it takes me to re-read and bask in the compliments again. Tonight, I will get He Who Cooks to read me the NDMs blog post again in his best Robbie Coltrane impersonating Sean Connery impersonating Elmer Fudd accent to see if it gets me through the daily dinner, bath and bed-time debacle. It would certainly be a cheaper alternative to Scotch.

The negative side of receiving this Award is that a condition precedent of receipt was that I pass it on within 5 days.  Before agreeing to receive the Award IN THE FIRST PLACE, I should have clarified with the NDM whether or not the definition of 5 days was working days or calendar days. However, as 5 days have now elapsed I think that I am time-barred arguing any defect of intention of the part of the offeree. In any case, it is not so much who to pass it on to that concerns me but writing a piece that adequately describes the warmth of my affection for that person.

When I received the award the first person that sprung to mind was my good friend @Aprilke for her Life Slight Used blog. She describes herself as:

An actor, A mother of two, prone to various assorted illnesses, a creator of bizzare poetry, unable to sleep till 3am and an avid devourer of books.

Her blog is an eclectic delight – there is a warmth and childhood whimsicality about her writing. I am not sure how and we met on Twitter but one day I felt that I had a someone there watching over me.  Aprilke has gone through a lot of pain and unhappiness and accutely and accurately picks up that pain in others. With a few gentle words she always manages to make me feel better.

One thing that saddens me is that she has been made to feel uncomfortable  by someone, a so-called friend, relative or acquaintance, about her grammatical, spelling and puctuational errors.  I make the same errors and yet no-one has yet pointed this out to me  (the general criticism that I receive about my blog is from male readers about the amount of thigh flesh exposed therein – it is too much or not enough depending on the particular individual). No one has ever pointed out to me the horrific number of typographical errors, split infinitives and other grammatical sins, laudatory word repetition,  overuse of brackets and the absence of any punctuation marks that normally appear on the right hand side of a computer keyboard (I have no ability to insert quotation marks, square brackets or apostrophes).  If I were to write a legal letter for a client with as many typos as I drop into a blog post,  they would probably get a 20% reduction on their bill.  It may be that the visitors to this blog:

(a)   just look at the pictures; and/or

(b)    are all much too fond of me to say anything about my terrible use of the English language.

So I would say to the individual that criticised Aprilke for her typos – I would rather read writing with soul than grammatically correct English. April has a huge heart – I do not  give a flying fart whether she can spell or not.

Et voila – with a flourish I present thee, sometimes Rachel sometimes April depending on your mood, with the I Love Your Words blog award. You have 5 business days from the acceptance to pass it on.  Acceptance can be by RT or comment on this blog post. Offer is open for acceptance within 24 hours.

*Post Script: My husband would like it to be known that I have promised to refrain from correcting his grammar and just type what he dictates to me  henceforward in letters to his clients. This is being typed with crossed fingers by the way.

25 thoughts on “Who needs spelling when you have a heart*?

  1. Oh, you are truely wonderful am all sniffly and happy now 🙂 🙂 Best Christmas Present Ever 🙂
    *hugs** xxx
    (in other words I accept – both this and the offer of The Minx to be set apon commenters on punctuation :))
    Actually, no, more like 😀 & :’)

  2. Well, I love the ballet boots… But I love April more. You describe her blog and her beautifully. I too somehow came across her blog… And really have never noticed anything other than the beauty of her writing. Then again spelling and grammar are not my strong point either! All I can say is I can’t think
    of anyone more deserving of the award than her. 🙂

    • You both share the same joy of writing about life and crazy little things that make it special. There are too many negative people in the world – a little bit of exuberance goes a long way.

  3. Blogging is a strange world. i have written for money as well as blogged and I apart from the remuneration the thing that links both forms of writing is that you put something of yourself out there. Even, if you write as I do, mostly to entertain.

    The web allows numerous small-minded people to snipe about nonsense like grammar and spelling. (I care about these things when I am teaching people to write, but everything can be fixed in a final draft).

    It is my observation through reading a lot of other people’s creative writing, that 1. Good spelling is innate and no indication of either creativity nor intelligence. 2. And the people that carp about it the most usually have the least interesting things to say otherwise.

    The web allows people whose views and worlds I would otherwise know nothing about, to talk to the world in general – without the megaphone of a newspaper column or a publisher. This blog here is an example of that. I’m glad it’s here – we’re all the richer for its existence. As we are for @Aprilke’s blog and Thew @NDM’s.

    I find that the best way to proceed about my writing – and I have it in me to be as precious and easily wounded as anyone – is to be guided by the excellent old saying, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” And as addendum, when they attempt to make it your business by commenting on what you have the guts to write – “Please write something of your own because that’s the only draft you are entitled to correct.”

    • I once worked with another academic who had a perfect grasp of grammar and spelling. She was very particular about enforcing her standards on students marking an essay deserving of a First Class Honours mark down for poor punctuation. Ideas and original concepts are much harder to come by – you cannot train someone to be creative, you can only enable them. Enabling involves letting them get ideas down on paper and having fun while doing it. A good editor can come along and pretty up the rough edges without anyone, including the author, knowing. Having spent so many years writing dry academic articles it is an absolute joy for me to come on here and talk bollocks about shoes and life. That anyone else reads and enjoys what I write is just the icing on the cake. Thanks so much or this @MrTrivia, I have learned a lot from you already.

  4. These ballet boots look positively dangerous. I know, where I to attempt to wear these, I would go skitin’ down the subway stairs in a glorious jumble of flailing limbs and curse words.

    However, they could prove a very effective “cattle prod” for the hundreds of unmoving, clueless tourists I have to navigate through as I try to cross Times Square every day.


    • Yup, the damn spelling auto correction on the iTouch has struck again. I’ve never even heard of the last name “MacHrwgor”, so I really have no idea why the Electronic Spelling Gods chose to change it. Oh well.

  5. I believe those boots are not made for walking at all, but perhaps for wearing in bed whilst doing other things.

    As for Aprilke’s blog, I wholeheartedly agree with you. For what it’s worth, I hadn’t noticed any errors, and I’m a stickler for grammar and punctuation, whatever that might say about my personality. If the writing is good enough (which hers is), one doesn’t notice.

    Brava, Life Slightly Used! 🙂

    • Sssssh – there are a few people out there who, thanks to clever subversive suggestion, now think that these are for vertical perambulation. Also, if my mum suspects the proper purpose I will not get a pair for Christmas 2010.

      • I stand by my earlier comment…these boots look positively dangerous. While I would by no means consider myself a prude in the boudoir, and have been known to don a racy outfit or two (and hopefully my brother will not happen upon that statement, for I would never hear the end of it)…I would have to seriously reconsider wearing these anywhere near my bed. Not only would I hate to put a tear in my very comfy mattress and wonderfully downy comforter, but I would also hesitate to inflict what would surely be a life-threatening injury to my unsuspecting husband. Not to mention the charlie horse that is bound to happen after wearing these boots for any length of time. Suddenly jerking to a stop while a spasm of pain holds you in it’s grip, then frantically trying to unlace and tear off the cause of the pain, ie these boots, seems like it would be the death knell to passion.

  6. Your blog award is thoroughly deserved. You DO have a way with words, despite what you may think, and if it gives you pleasure to share your weird obsessions with the rest of us, then long may you continue ! 😀

  7. I must stand up here and declare that it was I who offered to proofread April’s blog. I didn’t mean any harm by it, as I had performed a similar function before (admittedly, for essays and such, when spelling and grammar really does matter) and thought she might like to avail herself of my services again.

    I was quickly and in no uncertain terms told where I could stick my proofreading.

    I certainly didn’t mean to make her feel uncomfortable about her writing. Nowadays I’m often the first person to read her new blogs, but only after they’re online and she tells me I can read them.

    I do love her writing and think she has surpassed herself this year with LifeSlightlyUsed. So your award to her is very richly deserved, and I thank you for giving to her. I know it means a hell of a lot to her. As does all of the support and friendship you and other bloggers/tweeters have given her.

    She’s been telling me for a while that I ought to read your blog too. So I will. And I promise not to mention spelling or grammar, ever.

  8. everyone is so sweet – so is it 5 business days of 5 days in general before the puppies in Santa hats start having mysterious accidents a la Rick of Awsome…

    On a tangent I just realised all these twitternames are kind of Maedievil aren’t they?…

  9. I am feeling a little dizzy just LOOKING at those shoes. DIZZY. And slightly nauseous. They would not be good for me. I would spend all morning doing the damn things up and then fall over and hurt something bony and painful. But in the brief millisecond I was upright? I would look divine. They are gorgeous.

    Your blog award is extremely well deserved AND extremely well passed on as Miss April’s blog is quite impossibly brilliant and lovely and all the things you said.


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