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Puckering Time

It's now or never.

It's something I still have to figure out.

Some of you may be harboring delusions that I am a writer. I am most definitely not a writer. You have to believe me. You have probably read some of my posts in this blog, and have actually clicked on the Post a Comment link or have made a glorious decision to hit the Close button altogether because I have cut you short of all the goodness in life from my frequent blah state which I translate into words – and for that matter I apologize. Then again, I’m just blogging so please don’t take offense, as if I’m bringing on the Armageddon.

Okay, I was once news editor of our quasi school circulation in High School. I was tasked to do the job basically because no one can be as obsessive-compulsive with correct grammar as I do, but then I also get departures from my own OC behavior. I love to hear people talk, and try to correct anything problematic whenever there is a chance, but I also enjoy reading scribbles – then I proofread them. My teacher discovered this bit of talent of mine, and then she recommended me to join the Journalism Club upon which I took a dinky diagnostic exam and then poof! I became news editor! Then I was burdened with stacks of paperwork for me to bring home which effectively annoyed the hell out of me. You don’t know how hard it is to proofread simple fifty-cent sentences; by simple I mean retarded. I’m serious. I just find it all the more annoying the fact that those so-called correspondents were able to make it to the screening, and they seemed to connive with each other because majority of their submitted article drafts had one revolving main topic. Then I used red ink – bloody-red Pilot V5 sign pen I much preferred – to encircle, underline all seemingly gawky sentences, and make equally infuriating remarks about their atrocious grammatical and syntax errors by the time I have reached the “###” sign which means Nothing Follows or the end of an article. (“End” here means “put to a stop” although it sounds much more fun to just terminate the writer once and for all, ha ha!)

Apart from my being a pestilential toad to aspiring paper writers, I was also the undisputed champion in our Spelling quiz bees. From freshman to senior year in high school, no single soul had overthrown me from my seat as the title holder for Spelling. There were some who made fatal attempts to oust me. They failed – basically because I didn’t and wouldn’t let them win, nya ha ha. This was how I studied for the quiz bee: I take out two humongous World Book Dictionaries, my Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, and then I try to read and understand every word entry. This was a grueling task for it required patience, time, and effort, not to mention the proper way of ignoring the tranquilizing effects of reading. I don’t memorize, by the way; it would be hellish.

Then I went to UP and took up units in English. This feat effectively changed my perspective over my fondness in the language. I stupidly assumed that College English was no better than High School English, and by the end of the semester I was rewarded with a very wonderful dramatic grade of 3.0. I nearly flunked this course because I was bad at term papers. I don’t really hate the way the course was handled, but it was a factor. Plus I am horrible at systematic writing, you know, following specific rules and stuff. But I discovered the wonders of term paper writing – actually, it was more of a need – when two of my professors in two major subjects in Speech made a brilliant idea to require the class to submit somewhat a baby thesis with specific prerequisites. I almost ripped my skin off, and crawled and slithered on a bed of salt. But it paid off; I didn’t get a grade lower than 1.75. (A “2” would freak me out, actually.)

Then I started to do blogging. This makes perfect sense because I once loathed writing articles and journals yet I’m clacking away to do posts like this. And then I would come across good bloggers who were mistaken with my writing style. Honestly I don’t know what a writing style is – I got a 3.0 in English, remember? There is no need for comparison to other well-renowned writers and/or bloggers; just to reiterate my disclaimer, I am not a writer. I usually write the way I want to express things in usual everyday conversations. As with the issue of highfalutin vocabulary, I think it’s a product of too much reading. You know, the more words you ingest, the more it will get stuck inside you like a piece of bubble gum entangled on your hair. Thesauri and dictionaries can help, too. The sad thing on my part is that I lost my thesaurus somewhere in the vast plains of my room, our dictionary is too bulky to be hauled out from the shelf, and it took me years to discover the meaning of Shift+F7. I’m not kidding.

Now if you are going to ask me for advice, I’m afraid I’m the wrong person to inquire. I can’t even help myself with my problem in coherence, much less to assist you on how to be an effective writer. Maybe we could just put it this way. If your goal in life is to write, then go ahead, no one’s stopping you, but you have to be 120.936099% sure that you really want to be a [good] writer. Listen to what’s in your head. It could be telling you something, but which should not be mistaken with “Satan told me to kill people” kind of voice. Write what you know. Pure unembellished facts could be possible but that would be boring. You have to preempt that readers would want something warped and funny, or something tragic and lachrymal. And be careful with plagiarism.

Again, just write what you know. If you don’t know anything, then you got yourself a problem.

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At Tue Jul 03, 08:11:00 PM, Anonymous utakGAGO retorts...

*nose bleeds*.

Lachrymal? Wtf is that? =))

Anyway. That was a nice background about writing. Halata namang may talent ka sa English kaya no doubt about this post. :p    

At Tue Jul 03, 10:53:00 PM, Anonymous Skye retorts...

Like you, I crawl my way to grab at least a 2.0 when it comes to serious writing. Scientific papers, thesis, research craps... they all sound the same to me: boredom.

Limiting creativity is a writer's hell, long and winding school papers anyone? I'm more of a Cosmopolitan type of writer lol

And everyone has a certain way of writing, yours is probably 'undefined' or 'OC-strict'. Mine can be considered as 'incoherent' or 'rambling'. haha!    

At Wed Jul 04, 07:59:00 AM, Blogger Mike retorts...

utakGAGO: o, kleenex.

lachrymal = provokes tear ducts to cry


At Wed Jul 04, 08:02:00 AM, Blogger Mike retorts...

ano ba yan, bakit putol.

ayun, utakGAGO. Talent? Huwaat? Ano yun?? *nose starts to bleed nails*

skye: it's not just boredom; it's futility of human existence.

i'm not sure if mine is undefined, but it can also be categorized as incoherent.    

At Wed Jul 04, 10:42:00 AM, Blogger bulitas retorts...

This comment has been removed by the author.    

At Wed Jul 04, 10:42:00 AM, Blogger bulitas retorts...

u shut up mike! haha. a grade of 3.0 does not (absolutely) define you as a writer.
there are LOTS of factors that could affect your academic standing (especially when you study at the premiere state university of the country) and you know that. you are good. even great. your blog entries here tells much about your style. you have a very spontaneous way of expressing your thoughts. basta. yun na yun! haha! apir!

btw, i was a spelling bee champion way back in grade school. wahaha!    

At Wed Jul 04, 12:17:00 PM, Anonymous Juice retorts...

I was also really good at spelling before and won some stuff. But you, undisputed? Can't beat that I guess. Haha.

You're a great writer anyway, it's good to know about your history. If you weren't, why would I read your blog right? :p    

At Wed Jul 04, 02:14:00 PM, Blogger Billycoy retorts...

aray ko, sumakit ang ulo ko sa madugong ingles!

kung di ka pwedeng maging writer, pasado ka naman as proofreader!

teka, nasan na ang utak ko? sumabog na naman!    

At Thu Jul 05, 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous chloe retorts...

oh yeah, ranting in blogs are so much more easier than having to do stifling systematic writing.    

At Thu Jul 05, 05:22:00 PM, Anonymous netherchild retorts...


Your talented. And intelligent. And very very good. + 3.0 in english isnt bad at all. Its fair, actually.

What else. Post more of them skills of yours. Moreeeeee. Im getting addicted to you. You see? Youre a good writer, you converted me to become a 'loyal reader' of your blog.    

At Thu Jul 05, 06:43:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

bulitas: okay, okay, i'm sorry.

grade-conscious kasi ako eh. that's why i have this feeling that a 3.0 wouldn't make me *sob* a *sniffle* writer. *falls into a swoon*

iba talaga pag UP no? hahahahahaha. tayo lang nakakarelate. hahahahaha.

juice: my ability to spell things correctly nowadays is kind of dwindling. haven't gotten any practice lately.

ang saya. bulitas, you, and I have something in common.

billycoy: hindi naman madugo yan eh. simple and intelligible parin naman, marami ngang nakaintindi o.

ayokong proofreader lang. mukhang mababa ang sahod ng mga ganun. tsk.

netherchild: 3.0 is baaaad. i'm telling you.    

At Thu Jul 05, 07:51:00 PM, Blogger bulitas retorts...

haha. i knew it. you are grade conscious! but hey! a 3.0 could rip your heart especially if you get it the first time.

basta iba tau eh! up kami. kayo? wahaha! apir!    

At Thu Jul 05, 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

bulitas: when i got my class card i didn't know what to do talaga. kelangan ko na bang magpasagasa sa rumaragasang UP Campus-Pantranco jeep, magpakalunod sa Lagoon, ibaon ang sarili ko sa Sunken... ayoko na talaga ng ganun.

kaya para sa'kin ceiling grade ko na ang 2.0. any grade lower than that, i'd mutilate myself. iyoyosi ko isang ream, sabay-sabay.    

At Thu Jul 05, 08:07:00 PM, Blogger bulitas retorts...

ang adik mo boi! haha!
well, ayus naman mag-set ng ceiling grade, pero dapat handa ka sa mga mangyayari. =)
isa pa, 2.25 3.0 o 5.0 doesn't make u a lesser being. sa unibersidad natin, di ka nag-iisa na may tres. =)    

At Fri Jul 06, 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Jigs retorts...

This is the beauty of blogging. You don't need to be a writer or even good at English to blog. Blogging is Expression. That's all we need to know.

I'm kinda the same way when it comes to using big words. I don't need to, but maybe I was accustomed to them because of the books I read. Haha!    

At Fri Jul 06, 08:43:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

jigs: but i think it would be better if we consider intelligibility of our blogs through correct grammar. that way, we would be able to express ourselves much better without ambiguity.    

At Fri Jul 06, 09:52:00 PM, Blogger Jhed retorts...

I sometimes misuse the "big words" I know. LOL. Wala lang, feeling smart e. Haha!

I was once a spelling bee champion during my grade school years. Kaya nga medyo naging spelling whore ako e. I don't mind the grammar, basta ang gusto ko.. tama ang spelling. LOL.

Your highfalutin words actually piques my interest. It's like, I'm reading a dictionary.. a waaaay more fun version of a dictionary. Also, yun na yata ang naging appeal ng blog mo. :P    

At Sat Jul 07, 09:20:00 AM, Blogger Mike retorts...

jhed: using "big words," as you say, is good. but then again, it would be pointless if we just focus on diction without even employing good grammar. but the most important thing is intelligibility. as long as people would understand you - or your blog for that matter - even if you use simple vocabulary, that's perfectly fine.

ano ba, hindi 'to dictionary!    

At Sat Jul 07, 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Mike retorts...

bulitas: yeah, oo nga. expect for the worst, and hope for the best.

may kilala ako, nangogolekta ng 3.0, 4, tska 5.0. wala siyang konsepto ng 2.75 pataas. feeling La Sallista, hahaha.    

At Sun Jul 08, 12:06:00 AM, Anonymous YNA retorts...

I enjoyed reading the comments, grabe! Especially that between you and Bulits. I haven't had any experience getting a 3.0 in any subject (I still haven't gotten any grade yet! Naman!) and I hope I won't be getting one.

As with writing, different people come with different styles. Grammar, spelling, who cares? Ahaha. I don't know. It's being technical, yet you know that it is through this medium that you can express yourself freely, without the paper (or PC for that matter) bombarding you with questions or correcting you, whatsoever. When you're holding your pen, it's your say, it's your world. That's what I think. Plus na lang yung grammar and spelling.

Your history proved that you really deserve to be praised for what you write.    

At Sun Jul 08, 08:20:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

yna: hindi naman sa binubuhat ko ang buong MoA, pero i really find it more comfortable to write in English. same with the verbal part.

self-expression is really important, and it's one way to successfully persuade people. you don't just stay in one corner and let people monopolize the talking; better yet, you do the talking and let others join you in the conversation. you dominate and at the same time you capture the hearts, lungs, gall bladders, and kidneys of others. it's like hitting two birds with one stone.

please don't praise me. there are others who are far more commendable with their writing style. mine is just blah. haha.    

At Mon Jul 09, 03:27:00 PM, Blogger The King retorts...

I agree on everything you've written here.

*Vocabulary is something natural, which you acquire from reading stuff. I rarely type in Word for my post these days, so I don't get to use Shift+F7 anymore, hehe. But sometimes, groping for the right adjective or adverb can be fun.

*You're a good writer actually. SO I guess blogging has a good effect on you. Kasi kung di dating magaling, aba, anlaki ng improvement mo ah!

*I also write the way I think and speak. (Though syempre, di naman ako straight English sa mga friends ko, hehe!). I already got a lot of comments where the reader says they could imagine me talking when they read my posts.

You're a good writer, maybe there are a few technical tweaks (lahat naman tayo amatuers, diba), but still, your blog is a good read. :)    

At Mon Jul 09, 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

the king: i use either Word or Appleworks when i type something. in the latter, it's usually for editing purposes, as Safari tend to get cranky when you do copy+paste from Word to Blogger using Safari. anyway.

yeah, everytime i reread my blog, i feel so ashamed of myself. i see errors. lots of them. i mean, error on my part; i never imagined myself saying those things, yet i've written them anyway. haha. ang gulo ko no. thanks, by the way.    

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