Monday, August 9, 2010


I get to blog at work now sometimes.

Blogging at work is a Special Project. My boss will wander into my cubicle, ask how I'm doing and then say the words I love to hear: "I have a Special Project for you."

It's always something fun and interesting, something outside the box. One day, I took a client sightseeing. One time, I rummaged through boxes to find something. One day, I proofread a press release. One day, I wrote a brochure. One day, I made a cake.

Blogging is a regular thing, though, and it happens about once a week.

Over time, my understanding of the technology I'm expected to write about has grown. I've only been studying it for a little over a month. I read technical manuals and textbooks over my lunch.

At first it was hard to write, hard to set free the writer in me, when I wasn't even sure of which words to use to string together the technical terminology and jargon.

As teachers of writing know, the surest sign of someone using a term they don't understand is which little words they surround it with; which prepositions they use will show how close their own relationship with the term is.

In linguistics, your (the reader's, the writer's, the speaker's) relationship to the action is hidden cleverly inside those little terms. Think of deixis. Think of dramatism. But I digress (more about digressions later).

Well, that novice writer, that awkward user of unfamiliar terms: that's me at work.

Not only that, but maybe I wanted to liven up the writing, use unexpected active verbs, be creative. At first, I didn't dare. My blog entries were uncharacteristically short, a little stiff.

Now, most recently, I finally wrote about something I actually understood. It was fun, it flowed. But when I digressed in a totally interesting (to me) direction, I was instructed to cut that part out.

So now, it seems, I have leftover parts -- little things I've written that are going to have to wind up somewhere. And of course, by somewhere, I mean here.

Coming up next: The amazing journey of the salmon migrating not only hundreds of miles upstream but also migrating from my work blog to here. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

RME said...

K, you're being funny. What's your job now again? I forgot. Anyway, you know I'm very fluent in your language, enough to teach ESL/TESOL in my country. At least I did, I'm on a long break this time, trust me. But I can tell you that much: Germans have problems with your English prepositions. So to me, the second you get artistic about which words to use, I'm out of it! It might be linguistic and intellectual fantastic work of art of yours, but for me as a foreigner... I'm too stupid for it. :) I love when you write. I think I would even read technical manuals by you. <3 R.