Pardon the French!

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Warning – These are my personal thoughts about the use of language in writing.


I like books.
I like words.

I like wholesome books.
I like wholesome words in wholesome books.

I like clean, wholesome books.
I like clean, wholesome words in clean, wholesome books.

By now, the reader should know what I like to read. My reading involves everything from modern novels to books written 400+ years ago. But one thing that sets my reading apart is that I appreciate the use of well-written English.

Here in America, multitudes of magazines, periodicals, and books are written and published every day. Yet, we are at a loss as compared to much of the world’s population. Americans, on average, speak but one language, whereas, people from other countries may well speak 2-4 languages in addition to English.

While my college education included the learning of 4 different languages, I never took one single French class. Today, I am amazed at how many English authors choose to insert French into their books, and some of those would apologize for the French inclusions should their work be read in an open forum or to young people.

Why do English authors feel the need to include French words? Anybody can write a novel that includes French words that do not really mean what the author seems to imply the words mean. However, it takes a higher level of intelligence to write out words that are clearly understood by the reader. Words that mean something are of high value.

But, I believe I have the answer as to the reason for the inclusion of French. It is because more individuals are speaking French these days than ever before. In fact, some people cannot seem to get through an entire paragraph, much less an entire sentence without resorting to French words.

The trickle-down effect is staggering. The French used to be found just in elements of the lower classes of society. Then, it became popular with actors and actresses because cool people used French. This opened the door for teenagers and business people to start interjecting French into their conversations. Now, I am still astounded when I go to the store and see a little child speaking French words that mean nothing to them, and most certainly should have no place in their little brains.

Although I have taken six years of languages, both ancient and modern, I am convinced that I would know real French, from France, if I heard it. To be honest, if all of us took the time to think through our conversations, we would only be interjecting words that make sense to English readers.

True French is a beautiful language, but American French being found in films and books is uncouth. American French does not show to the world the beauty of our language, our society, and our culture. In fact, it does the opposite, and also shows that we do not appreciate the beauty of one of the world’s hardest languages to learn – English.


As for me, I prefer to speak, write, and read English. I don’t want to avoid words when reading to my children. When I hear French, I want it to be in discussion of things like baguettes, croissants, French bread, and the Eiffel Tower.

My challenge to the reader is to climb the Eiffel Towers of the English language, and leave French to the French. After all, they are just better at it.

C’est la vie, au revoir!


The Smell of Death

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In my reading, I have noticed that several recommend trying to write in different genres. On the site, Critique Circle, an exercise asks you to describe a scene. However, there is a caveat. You can only hear and smell, all other senses are gone. With that, I wrote and submitted this short story. This was not a comfortable exercise, but challenged me to think outside the box. Feel free to comment or critique on what you read.

This is also posted on The Daily Post – That’s Absurd Challenge.

The Smell of Death

Having leprosy as a child, I had lost my sight and all sense of touch. To most, my world was a tragedy. However, what I lacked in sight and touch, I more than made up for with my enhanced ability of hearing and smell. I had learned to adapt through a unique ability called synaesthesia. The word means that two of my senses are permanently attached to each other.

Every word I hear has its own scent pattern. If you said money, you might think of cash, dollars, or coins. When I hear the word money, I smell fresh grass. Today, my guide dog, Gladys, had brought me to the bank and the smell of fresh grass was everywhere. The sound of her padded feet guiding me smelled like morning dew.
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Page Numbers Done!

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“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” — Snoopy

Latin to Remedial English – Quote (12)

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“In 100 years, we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching remedial English in college.” — Joseph Sobran

Don’t kill books.

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Reading can never be replaced by a reality show if you expect the brain to be used to its fullest capacity.

Author J.L. Pattison


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So you want to be an editor?

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This is a very interesting site designed for people to both have their work critiqued, as well as to critique the writing of others. There are two levels of membership and worth the cost of a Starbucks coffee to join.

Kate Turville

If you’re looking for practice in editing and critiquing people’s work do I have a good website for you! I discovered Critique Circle a few years, and not only did I get some great advice on my own writing, I polished up on my analytical skills and my editing skills. Even if you’re more interested in writing your own work, having a go and critiquing other people’s work helps develop your skills as a writer.

You can also have other people critique your work, which can be very useful if you struggle to find objective, unbiased opinions. Everyone is very constructive in their criticism. You’ll also get people critiquing your work who specialise in different areas. For instance, one may point out all the grammatical and spelling errors within your story, another may identify lack of themes and character development, while a third will help with sentence structure.

I highly…

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General Quote (11)

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Many aspire to be writers, but never write. It is like wanting to be a good reader, but never reading. The difference is that if you never read, few will ever know. But, if you never write, all those who inspired and encouraged you will never know that you never set your mind to fulfill a dream.

So, what are you waiting for?