Thoughts on Journaling

As my month is Paris is winding down, I thought I’d post some bits from the journal I’ve been keeping here, starting with some feelings about journaling itself (so #meta, right?)

It’s weird for me writing on paper. Usually I like to write on my laptop so I that I can start at the middle, if I need to, then work to the beginning, then shuffle it all up until it makes sense. So I can leave blanks when I don’t know how to say it and come back to it when I find the right word. So I can iterate over a sentence, making little tweaks until it finally says what I mean.

I’ve heard that journaling is supposed to be more “raw and authentic,” “stream of consciousness,” and I see how there’s something in in getting thoughts down as they come out, with minimal editing. But usually, my consciousness doesn’t work like a stream, flowing constantly and unidirectionally down one line (as meandering as that line may be). It jumps around and disappears and stops and runs backwards and circles back on itself and sometimes flies away.

Maybe that’s why I have an easier time choreographing than I do with improv. I like to return and reorder and readjust, but it’s something else to make movement flow out on the spot in order. I guess I just have to get used to the fact that things don’t always come out just “right,” and get on with it.



You’ve Called the Grammar Police

If pedants ruled the world:

Hello? There’s two guys breaking into my house and I think they have—

I think you mean there are two guys.

Well yeah, and I think they—

You said “there is” two guys, which creates a mismatch in number between the subject and verb.

Look, I could care less about the mismatch

I think you mean that you couldn’t care less. “Could care less” would imply that you do indeed care quite a bit.

Right now I care about the guy that’s smashing my windows and—

Actually, it’s the guy who is smashing your windows. “That” is generally used to describe inanimate objects. Now there is some controversy surrounding the acceptability of using “that” and “who” interchangeably, but I tend to fall more in line with the traditionalists, who

LOOK, I’m not sure who I’m dealing with, but—



“Who” is exclusively a subject pronoun, and you used it to refer to the grammatical object. “I’m not sure with whom I am dealing” would be the correct—

JUST HELP! They’ve got my husband and—

You mean they have your husband. . .

. . .

Some people just won’t learn.


Academia: Focusing on What is Important Since Socrates or Something.