Asides for April:
The Menace of the Undefined
It’s a wonder I became a writer. I went to three schools in third grade and therefore never mastered more than an infantile scrawl for cursive writing and even my signature. Then I flunked typing in high school. (A bad rap, actually, but there it is.) But the worst of it was the way my parents (both educated and articulate) warred against words. I had a hard time keeping track of all the words I couldn’t use without Wrath of the Gods punishments. But looking back on it, what really gets me is that we couldn’t use the nonsense words “Mad” magazine coined. (I was not allowed to read “Mad”, either, but sneaked copies from by buddy’s big brother.) You remember the ones I mean: “furshlugginer”, “farshimet”… words dripping with wacko invective, but bereft of meaning. Which didn’t matter to the parents: they’d ask if I knew what the words meant, and when I shook my resigned little head, said the MIGHT be bad words and were thus verboten. Now think about that… this unknown word MIGHT be a bad one, so don’t ever use it. I think you can understand why I react so strongly against people who advise writers to avoid adverbs, alternatives to “said”, passive verbs… or ANY word in the English language, which was create by writers for writers to frolic in. It’s a bad day when you can’t blame something on your fushlugginer parents.