Culture of Correct Writing

To write well is an exquisite art. The first time I felt its indelible impact was when I picked up my first novel, Pride and Prejudice. It introduced me to an unravelling of how words can leave a powerful impact. Over the years, I have read different genres of books and traversed my mind through varied poems from different time-periods and in all these, the string of words woven in the hands of great writers have never failed to fascinate me. It is an incredible experience to go back to the writings of essays of near perfection in language and to sift through pages of books that reveal human civilization’s finest art.

 

The tradition of good writing has been passed down with great skill from generation to generation. I have read many a good piece of writing that has left its mark on me, and I know many would feel the same too. However, people are showing an air of complacency nowadays when it comes to writing. The art of good writing is diminishing and there is a need to revive its beauty and importance. It is obvious to point out the reason why it is so. Social networking sites have greatly affected the skill of good writing. Young people are more and more exposed to clumsy writings. Grammatically incorrect sentences, spelling errors and exaggerated punctuations are the norm now. And to our horror, it has stealthily seeped into all kinds of writing. Many a time, I have come across students abusing the ellipsis- a huge trend in instant messaging. Then, in answer scripts and other academic writings, there is the irksomeness of putting up with ‘2’ for ‘to’, ‘n’ for ‘and’, ‘da’ for ‘the’ and many other malignant ways of polluting the language. The laxity shown in this area is rather disappointing. The reason is the manifold distractions and ready-made answers that are now available all too easily, which greatly contributes to the poor quality in writing. This also results in the dearth of originality and lack of creativity. Therefore, it has become vitally important to educate students to avoid speedy erroneous writings.

 

To read is to fill one’s mind with knowledge; to converse with people is to enable a person to become more confident in adapting himself to different kinds of personalities and situations. But, it is writing that makes an ‘exact man’ because writing enables us to think with clarity and to present our ideas in a logical manner. Therefore, it is an educational exercise of great benefit.

 

It is true for everyone that even if one is not an avid reader, there is always a pleasure derived from reading a good piece of writing. But more than the aesthetic benefit, the positive changes it wields is far greater. This is how powerful words are! It is the finest and the best vehicle for our thoughts. And when these words come together in its proper form, the impact it generates is astounding. Its impact is lasting and is read over and over again long after the author has ceased to exist. It is often quoted that ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ and this is undeniably true. Words are indeed powerful and effective. It can bring a tremendous positive change in the minds of the people. Writing helps us to express ourselves. The more we write, the more it sharpens our mind to be precise even in our speech. Writing also enables us to be creative. And so, when we exert our minds to write, there will be moments when we may even surprise ourselves.

 

Writing brings thoughts to life. It gives shape to our thoughts which would otherwise, never find its voice. Because it has a life of its own, words remain alive and continue to speak to people. Writing comes close to capturing our deepest thoughts and emotions. It acts as a therapy as we unload ourselves in words. Like a silent and dependable friend, it takes in all that we scribble away. Take for instance, the warm and intelligent Anne Frank whose daily innocent entry in her ordinary looking diary was heralded as the best account of the holocaust. Though she died young, her honest confessions in her diary gave humanity a chance to retrospect again the horrors and ravages of war. Had she not written, half of the world would have never seen the real side of the story. History might have then captured it in a different light. Therefore, a written document is a proof of what has happened. It is a legacy and a heritage we leave behind. It retains its true essence unlike what is passed down orally which may alter according to the person who narrates. If we do not write, it dies with us. And so, it is so important to encourage young people to think and write. It is a culture we need to revive.

 

For a beginner, one can always begin by maintaining a simple journal, jotting down quotes, poems, anecdotes or even a fleeting whimsical thought. Whatever way we wish to carry out the task, let us practice writing. Let us allow our imagination to run riot and our creativity to manifest itself in good writing. And for that, let us be stricter on ourselves by steering away from any negligence that may mar the worth of our writings.

 

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thoughtwill delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Aniruddha, Meren and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.