Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keeping Composed

I read a pause-provoking article yesterday. Every once in a while, you come across a piece of writing that challenges some long-held assumptions and makes you see your world in exciting new ways. This is not one of those times...but there is some good stuff in the piece. It's sort of a manifesto about how thought and communication can become devalued in an age where we instantly communicate everything that pops into our pumpkins--on Twitter, in Facebook updates, in blog posts. I stumbled upon it on the blog of some guy I've been following on Twitter and I've been telling all my Facebook friends about it.

Here is an excerpt:
What worries me are the consequences of a diet comprised mostly of fake-connectedness, makebelieve insight and unedited first drafts of everything. I think it's making us small. I know that whenever I become aware of it, I realize how small it can make me. So, I've come to despise it.
Personally, I'd jam a hyphen in makebelieve, but beyond that we have the problem of that comprised. Compose and comprise is one of those troublesome twin sets that copyeditors owe their existence to. Briefly, a diet--at least a media one--can be composed of unedited first drafts (I have a fridge full of those myself). And these drafts, along with the insights and other mind-detritus, may comprise a diet. But comprised of, alas, is just wrong.

But hey, that's what edited second drafts are for.