High up on the moors walking with one of the monks on Sunday afternoon we found ourselves pondering language and expression and the way we do that in unique ways. Good writing, he said, is doing what language is supposed to do, which is to get your point across, clearly and unambiguously. Inwardly I noticed a wince of recognition at my imprecise use of language. And then the conversation turned to other things and we walked on down off the moors, through the farm where the second round of foot and mouth disease was discovered in 2001.
I'll remember next time we walk to take a note pad. As it was I jotted down a few references when we got back. This monk is a walking talking mine of information. The only book reference was John Humphrys of the Today programme who rails against sloppy use of words and back in 2004 wrote Lost for Words:The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language. Sounds promising. Now I see he has produced another book, Beyond Words: How Language Reveals the Way We Live Now. Sounds equally promising.
How glad I am to have a computer back in working order again. Last evening normal service was interrupted and was resumed with some difficulty, and a whole lot of patience.