An Open Letter to the Elderly Woman on the Bus the Other Day

Dear Elderly Woman on the Bus the Other Day,

Let me start by apologizing for the fact that I don’t know your name, I should’ve asked but at the time it just didn’t come up. I imagine it would be something inappropriately badass for a woman of your age; something of a Xena, M or even Agent 99 would be fitting.

You probably wouldn’t expect my likening you to a warrior woman when we first met. After all, I imagine not many women in their late eighties would conjure such an image in one’s mind, but you certainly did. Maybe it was because you were sitting right up the back of the bus, like a high-school rebel, rocking your purple cardigan and white knitted hat. Or maybe it was just something to do with your general aura.

Anyway, I would just like to say thank you for absolutely making my day. Of all the people I strike up conversation with on public transport (I never really got the “don’t talk to strangers’ memo) you are by far my favourite. In the short fifteen or so minutes that we chatted you taught me many life lessons, most of which I assume have no basis other than your own meandering experience. Among other things, you taught me that being late is fine so long as you make an entrance, to always make sure you have lipstick on (“You never know when Mr. Clooney is going to wander into the supermarket”) and to never leave home without a middle finger to stick to someone who pisses you off. It is these fragments of possibly ill-guided advice that I will now implore myself to live by.

You can thus understand my utmost devastation when you got off at the next stop, and this being a route I don’t usually take I only later realised my predicament of not crossing paths with you again. Believe me had I realised this earlier I would have said this all to you in person, but at the time all I managed was a “Have a good day!” and you a “I always do”. If I am half as cool as you are at any point in my lifetime I will be insurmountably pleased with myself.

I would like to finish by saying that if the demi Gods of coincidence ever look down on me favourably and we should cross paths again, I will certainly shout you that skinny flat white you have been dying for all day.

Kind regards,

Girl on the Bus the Other Day

Why Auto-Correct Is The Devil

Taylor Mali, poet and all around linguistic genius, once spoke of a problem affecting ‘manly manly students across the Word’, a problem so deeply ingrained in our society that the worst offenders don’t even know that they are taking part. Mali described this in his poem, The The Impotence of Proofreading. However, Mr. Mali, your highness-almighty, through a series of unfortunate and tortuous experiences I have boiled this down even further to one single compromising factor, and I am here today to share this with you.

From a very young age we learn to read, we learn to write, we learn to dot our I’s and we learn to add apostrophe’s to our possessives. Then somewhere along the long twisted road to adulthood, we forget a few of those rules, not really the important ones, but a few nonetheless. That is to say, some rules are less memorable but we can still function as human beings when it comes to communication of the written form.

Fast forward a little while and somewhere around the turn of the Century came Mr. Jobs with his good intentions and Apple wizardry, and as a generation we all lost our fucking (excuse my language) minds. It changed the world, but was it for the better? I have to say, as an IPhone user and winner of my second grade Spelling Bee, I find it a little ironic that the smart phone is the one piece of technology that is making us dumber.

According to a study by the BBC, in a poll of over 2,000 students it was found that over a third could not spell the word ‘definitely’, two-thirds could not spell the word ‘necessary’ and, in an even more alarming statistic, only 9% said that they never use spellcheck to correct such errors for them.

And there it is, those fateful words – spellcheck. The Apple Computers term is ‘auto-correct’, and it’s that handy little popup bubble that manages to edit all of your misspellings before you get a chance to notice you’ve made them. Pre-installed, ready to dull your mind of any prior knowledge of ‘I before E’. Yes auto-correct, I have come to accept, is the most harmful piece of technology currently gracing this planet.

The BBC has even given us all a name, “The Auto-Correct Generation”. Not only is this an outrageously bland and uninventive nickname, it just doesn’t do justice to the creative, inspiring and resourceful minds which should be depictive of those growing up in the tech boom. As the youngest generation we are among the likes of Leila Janah and Jay Kimmelman who with their companies, are working to end third-world poverty. We are among the likes of Jack Andraka, who received the National Jefferson Award at the age of 17 for his work on a potential method for detecting the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. Yes, there is a boy the age of 15 who is curing cancers, but alas here we are, known as the generation who can’t spell the third-grade level word ‘definitely’.

Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association for the Teaching of English said that the use of auto-correct in phones and computers has become a ‘knee-jerk reaction’,

“if people are blindly writing things and expecting automated programs to address all of their inaccurate spellings, that’s a concern – because they won’t. It’s the linguistic equivalent of indiscriminate sat nav users driving into canals”.

You heard the man.

Driving.

Into.

Canals.

I’m not going to lie to you all, there was a point in my life where I was an autocorrected zombie too. However, one lazy Sunday afternoon after letting various family and acquaintances in my contact list know I would be ‘coming in for a sex’ instead of a ‘sec’, something clicked in my brain and at that very moment I collectively lost my will to live and battled through the twelve layers of Settings mastery to turn off autocorrect. And it is the best decision I ever made. It sounds pretentious but I refuse, as a human being living on this fine Earth, to leave it to a machine to spell for me.

Autocorrect is the devil, and I am a woman scorned.

However, I still live it hope. I like to think of myself as a reckless optimist, but I do have my limits. Hashtags and memes, not a problem, emoji’s are absolutely fine (the moonface is my favourite), but sometimes even the Oxford Dictionary likes to test the parameters. A quick flick through the modern dictionary will reveal that due to popular usage, words like ‘bruh’ and ‘awesomesauce’ have been added to it’s hallowed pages. Surely we realize there’s a problem with that when Microsoft Word still puts that dreaded little red squiggle under those words (they are sitting there right now as I type just taunting me).

Anyhow, I digress.

Generation Y I am talking to you here. This is do or die now, for the love of all that is good and pure just turn off your autocorrect. Learn to spell words again, learn to finish typing words even. I refuse to believe that such a boundless and innovative group of humans can be defined as the most aggressively inarticulate generation there has ever been. We have the world’s resources at our feet, we can research, we can learn, we can question and we can investigate. So why are we all still stuck here struggling with which witch is which? I’m not saying any of us need to go back to school, or attend a nation-wide spelling bee, but I am saying that in between all the IPhones, IPads, and IPods, I’ve just had enough.

Definitely.

Grand Return and Life Musings

So here we are, bet you never thought this day was coming hey? I’ve been taking “long time, no blog” to the next level. I could’ve easily let this roll around to the two year silence but that just isn’t my style…one year eight months is pretty perfect.

Now you’re probably all wondering why I haven’t been on here – what could I have possibly been doing for this length of time to have warranted such actions? I realise I’ve left you all hanging and being the dedicated and unwavering audience that you are I think it’s only fair I explain myself properly. No doubt you have all waited patiently, checking every day without fail to see if Write and Day was back in the stratosphere and finally after all this time the silence is broken. The truth is, I was writing a detailed and all-encompassing biography on the longevity of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage. That uh…fell through. Anyway I’m back!

What else have I done in that nearly two years? I was going to give you a day-by-day run through but I changed my mind at about day 423 so I’ll just sum it up briefly – I did some study, read a book or two, discovered I enjoy pickles, saved some money, spent some money, drank wine, laughed a lot, cried a little, got a tattoo (small, modest, meaningful), tried learning chess (still haven’t won a game but I’ll keep you updated), didn’t get stung by any bees, and ticked off a couple of bucket listings along the way.

I’ve even gone M.I.A. on you all before but that was just for a mere month! A MONTH! I even wrote a whole blog post apologising for my rude and lengthy disappearance (To read that post click here, but not here). If only I’d known what was coming, I’d have given myself an aneurysm.

Anywho, there wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to chat about other than getting something out there into the big bad blogging world so this is pretty much the end of this post. Short and sweet seems a good way to go at this point.

Who knows maybe you’ll hear from me tomorrow (probably not), maybe I’ll be back next week (probably not). Either way I will be back so stay tuned.

I don’t know about you but 2018 is feeling like a good year for the old blog…

Stay zesty,

Write and Day

(Authors Note: I’ve never signed off any of these blogs before and I don’t know why I did it that time but I kind of like the jazziness of it so I’m going to leave it there just this once). 

 

Blog Log – The Fellowship of the Blog

Check out Blog Log #1 – Blog Log #2 – Blog Log #3

[AUTHORS NOTE 2016 – Well, safe to say time has well and truly taken its toll on the ol’ blog log since this update and this is quite outdated…take it all with a grain of salt and note that I’ve moved the hyperlinks to more fun locations in the absence of real content) 

Well give me a ring and call me Frodo, Blog Log is back baby! It feels like only yesterday we were all cringing at the terribly-wonderful Lord of the Rings/Hobbit references we have come to know and love about blog log, ahh the memories. Seriously though it’s been nearly six months since its last installment! Whaaaaaaaaat!

So what has happened to Write and Day in that six months? Well, we have now officially moved over to www.writeandday.com (WOOOHOOO! Check out that sweet domain name hey?!) which was a highly technical and way-too-computery process for anyone to handle, but hey got there in the end. And it is seriously exciting! I feel like a proud parent sending their child off to high-school – MY BABY’S ALL GROWN UP WITH IT’S OWN .COM!….too much? maybe.

Also, if you haven’t noticed already someone’s done a bit of fiddling with the banner… Anywho, while on the super-duper high-tech upgrading train, Write and Day is also on twitter! Shoot us a tweet @writeandday – I’m always finding some random fun fact-ish things on there to share with you guys (in 140 characters or less).

So yes, Write and Day is here just chugging away nicely, doing it’s own thing as per usual. Oh and before I forget! A big shoutout to all of the new followers who have jumped on the Write and Day bandwagon since the last blog log, for I would rather share one blog post with you than face all the Ages of this WordPress alone …okay, I’ll give Tolkein the credit for that one but welcome aboard nonetheless.

Which Witch is Which?

The English language.

It’s the only one I speak…fluently anyway (Oui). But sometimes, and lately has been one of those times,  it just manages to baffle me in all new ways. I heard somewhere a while ago that English is the hardest language to learn, and I don’t know if that is true or not, but seriously I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s just crazy. So, considering there is no time like the present, I thought I would present you with this present of literary questions.

If I have one goose and two geese, why not one moose and two meese?

We here on the bloggersphere are writers who write, and workers who work, so why don’t hammers ham and grocers groce? And why is it that being a ‘wise man’ and a ‘wise guy’ mean the opposite thing, but having a ‘fat chance’ and a ‘slim chance’ mean the same thing?

I mean, how could it possibly be that dose, rose and lose don’t rhyme?

But it isn’t just spelling, I still think that whoever decided putting ‘g’ and ‘h’ together to make an ‘f’ sound (as in cough) is just cruel. Or that saying the word ‘queue’ is the same as saying ‘cue’.

Now if English didn’t confuse you before, I think that just about does it. However, if I still haven’t quite convinced you, just remember that lead and read rhyme and lead and read rhyme, but lead and read don’t rhyme and neither do lead and read…(good luck wrapping your head around that one first go).

And maybe it’s not even because the English language is that difficult, but that we are becoming consistently worse spellers. Now with technology and whatnot, you don’t need to learn spelling rules, that little red squiggle underneath words simply tells you all the answers. But sometimes even this fails us! And come on, you know English is complex when autocorrect doesn’t even know what were trying to say half of the thyme.

Blog Log – One Blog To Rule Them All

Yep, the Lord of the Rings references are still hanging around for this instalment of Blog Log. And I just know this one is going to be a beauty…let it begin!

Set off the confetti cannons, get the music on, and start the marching band because Write and Day has just ticked over 100 followers. That’s right, the big 1-0-0. We’ve officially hit the hundgy. Woohoo!

You my dearest reader are literally one of hundred intrepid blogging explorers who have been brave enough to stare this blog in the…err screen? and say “I’m going to follow you!”. And yes I know that one hundred people isn’t all that many in the bloggersphere, but one hundred people in real life? Whoa. I can’t even think about what one hundred people look like. I mean, that’s a lot of people. That’s not even a group of people, that’s a small army. Imagine if each of our hundred brought a friend, that would be…a slightly larger army.

We could become a flash mob. Or an angry mob. We could start a mexican wave. We could break the Guiness World Record for most people crammed into a Mini Cooper (yes, it’s a real thing – click here) So if anyone owns a Mini, let us know and we’ll get that ball rolling. We could be in a huge group hug. We could easily fill a double decker bus. We could book out a small aeroplane. We could book out an exceptionally large yoga class. If we all wrote ten pages each, we could write a 1000 page novel. We could book out one hundredth of Wembley Stadium (if my maths is correct).The point is, the possibilities of our hundred strong are endless really.

So a huge thank you to all hundred of you, and everyone else too, for jumping on the Write and Day bandwagon. It’s been a hoot so far, and I’m sure it will only continue to be as our small army of followers grows into that slightly larger army.