Editing the truth

I’m a self-confessed pedant when it comes to punctuation. Already this year I’ve written to two companies to point out their misuse of [it’s] to denote possession rather than a contraction of [it is] or [it has]. Lying in close second place to this increasingly common error is the incorrect use of ‘lead’ as the past tense for the verb to lead. When did the world forget about led?

I have an illness. I’m sick. I know. In the time it takes me to choose from a menu, I have automatically clocked all the errors. While I’m slowly getting to grips with seeing beyond them, I show no mercy to native-English-speaking companies or people. I am working on being a better person, honestly. But it’s difficult.

Given the current climate in Hungary and the apparent liberty some are taking by airbrushing people out of photos and perhaps even editing texts and interviews (is this how rumous start?), I was reminded about some graffiti I saw last year in Budapest – down a little street off Raday. I took two photos of it,  one being an edited version. It shows a wish from the artist that the tourist enjoys his or her time in Budapest and goes home happy.

But the full picture reveals a different story: AT (maybe Attila)  apparently simply wants this tourist to just go home. Exclamation mark. End of story. And then he will be a happy camper.

Our perspective of a problem or an issue or a text or an interview is coloured by the angle we read or hear it from – by our own experiences and interpretations. We work with the information we have to hand and all too often, that’s simply not enough. So what then? Do we wait until we’re sure we know it all before making a decision or just wing it and hope and pray we’re on the right track?

According to the Mayans, 2012 is going to be a transformative year in lots of ways. It’s the end of the Mayan calendar for starters. Just a week into this new year I’m already feeling that the focus, for me, is going to be on truth – truth with myself and with others. You’ve been warned 🙂



2 replies
  1. Erik the Reader
    Erik the Reader says:

    The junk on the wall is mere stupidity. Everything should be seen in it’s context.
    If you would find dogpoop on a nice lawn would you say that the lawn it’s bad and so on?
    Regarding the English language and errors: the mere fact that writing is not phonetical it’s irrational for me even if you get used to it, I reckon it’s the result of a long historycal writing tradition (the same can be said about Chinese which is an analitycal language like English). Too bad that German was not choosen as the language of the new world 😀
    What about Irish? Do you master it? 🙂

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      You know, I was just talking about this last night. English is not a rational language. You’re right. And it’s frustrating if you don’t see the difference between _re_fuse and _ref_use – same letters, two different meanings, depending on the emphasis. Irish is far from rational, too. I met a Hungarian doctor in Ireland over Christmas whose daughter is learning Irish and is having a terrible time with it. I supposed, because I learned it from the age of 4, its irrationality has become rational. But German? – It might be structured but don’t you think it sounds harsh?

      Mary Murphy http://www.stolenchild66.wordpress.com


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