Springingtiger's Blog


Autism Awareness: How Do I Know? (I Enjoy Great Text)

I am frequently surprised by the responses I get to my blog posts, it is often the pieces for which I have least regard that produce the most positive reactions and comments, whereas a painstakingly crafted post passes almost unremarked. I wish I knew what it was that put the magic into one post rather than another. Obviously the posts which get the biggest reactions are the ones with which people either strongly agree or disagree, but I have not yet worked out how to tell which those posts are so I just post what I write.

Although I have little ground for criticising the spelling of others as my hands spell independently of my brain – which compels me to hours of correction – I dislike the incorrect use of homonyms. While I prefer to get things right I have discovered not everyone appreciates being corrected although some accept it with good humour. When a few days ago I pointed out to one friend that he had used, “bare” wrongly when he should have used “bear” or as I put it (approximately) “‘bear with me’ means carry on with me, whereas ‘bare with me let’s get naked’” his response was the witty response, “That would explain the dodgy photos I receive”. Not too long previously I explained to someone else the difference between “there” (adverb of place) “their” (third person plural possessive) and “they’re” (a contraction of they are) and received an extremely unpleasant response. I suppose some people’s sense of self is so fragile they find criticism hard to take, whereas those who are comfortable with themselves, or committed to being the best they can be, welcome criticism. Sadly it is impossible to know the internal workings of a person’s mind, should we eschew honesty so as not to offend? I don’t think so.

The fact is noone can ever really know what another thinks and feels and worrying about it is only going to drive you crazy. Obviously one should not set out to cause unnecessary offense or hurt, but I believe, one should be honest and honestly try to be of service to others. I believe that the service of others begins with one’s self, so I write for the one person for whom I can make a difference, me. I have mentioned before that writing enables me to see what I think and understand it, while the thoughts are in my head I frequently can’t separate the useful stuff from the noise. Yesterday at a funeral a reporter asked me for a comment, I don’t know what I said, but I’m aware of not having been particularly coherent. I am not sure how anyone thinks surrounded by people and noise, I need to have time to lay out my thoughts and examine them. My wife likes to talk out her thoughts and invites comment back, but really she is simply thinking out loud because that’s part of her processing mechanism, particularly when engaged in a piece of work. Having talked she goes back to her writing with her thoughts sorted. I suppose everyone has their own way of processing, me I like to read what I’m thinking so I write.
(I think this makes my preamble longer than the post I’m revisiting!)

I may have remarked before that my preferred form of social interaction is by the written word – or more accurately typed word. The primary reason for liking text is the pace of communication. Thanks to the internet communication via email and social media is quick but it still allows time to think and edit thought. Spoken communication is immediate and allows no thinking time. I am frequently unaware of my thoughts until they are reflected back to me which can cause problems in spoken communication, whereas in writing I can edit my thoughts into a socially acceptable form prior to posting. Written communication allows me time to communicate in a coherent and socially acceptable manner.

My second reason for preferring written communication is that it allows me to become aware of my thoughts on a subject and to refine them. This is valuable to me whether or not I then communicate them.

Another really good reason for communicating in typescript is my somewhat impaired recall. People – usually my wife – often quote back to me things I have said previously of which I have no recollection. This can be embarrassing for me. When I communicate by the written word I can keep a copy of what I have posted which enables me to respond to comments by those who have read me. My response to the spoken reporting of earlier conversations is frequently silence and a blank look.

I like communicating via the web for another good reason. When someone posts to me I can usually work out who they are and whether I know them before responding. If someone speaks to me face to face unless I know them well – and then often not out of context – I probably won’t recognise them. Sometimes I think I know someone or I have a name stuck in my mind and I can’t place from whence I know them only to come across the name on television and realise I don’t know them at all. I once spent a whole winter trying to remember who Philip DeFreitas was and how I knew him only to be relieved by the start of the televised cricket season.

I may have more reasons but I will conclude on this. I hate to look stupid – my measured IQ is above average – communicating in words allows me to edit for mistakes and to correct my spelling. I like to end with a result that is, if not a work of art, at least not a serious embarrassment.

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