20 April 2012
Do you know the name of this hot pink tropical flower? While most of the greenhouse plants have tags naming their species, this one did not. I asked the caretaker watering the collection, but he was unfamiliar with it.
I dedicate this post to Rebecca Dickinson who nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Please visit her blog, “A Word or More,” here.
Awards carry responsibility–responsibility to uphold the honor given and to abide by their rules. Four conditions come with this nomination, and this post is part of my compliance. But, more importantly, my expression of sincere gratitude.
The rules are:
- Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post. (done in first paragraph)
- Share seven things about yourself.
- Pass this award along to seven others.
- Contact your nominees to let them know about the award. (completed)
Seven things about me (another seven are found here on my 10 February 2012 post titled “Thanks for the Versatile Blogger Nomination”):
1. I am a vegetarian who buys mostly organic products.
2. I love to hold a book in my hands.
3. The child in me loves Kinder Surprise Eggs (from Europe).
4. My gardens are my sanctuary.
5. I am an avid art lover.
6. My collection of Polaroid cameras will be coming out of their storage this summer.
7. Pop-up books astound me each and every time.
Number Three (in no particular order):
1. Carl Chapman at http://letterfromnorfolk.wordpress.com
2. Redwater Ramblings at http://everedwater.wordpress.com
3. Nick Exposed at http://nickexposed.com
4. A Year in the Life at http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com
5. Mostly Monochrome at http://mostlymonochrome.wordpress.com
6. John Pitts at http://phototalkdaily.wordpress.com
7. Claire Atkinson, The Urban Photographer at http://clairejatkinson.wordpress.com
Now I can tell you about another gift my nominator, Rebecca Dickinson, unknowingly gave me. When you check out her blog you’ll see various badges on the right column. I was ecstatic (yes) to find one that says, “Read the Printed Word.” For me a book cradled in my hands is one of life’s pleasures (see number two where I list the seven things about me).
The words on the badge reminded me of a recent article by one of the professors at my alma mater. Fanfare for the Comma was in the New York Times’ Opinionator column on April 09. The author, Ben Yagoda, who is professor of English at the University of Delaware, wrote about the rules of punctuation: specifically the comma. He laments that his students read less “edited prose.” Their writing is influenced by the informality and shorthand used in social networks. These new ways of communication coupled with less attention to the rules of grammar create a loss of skills in “punctuation and spelling.”
To add to this commentary, bookstore owner Ann Patchett’s New York Times’ article (And the Winner Isn’t…) from April 17 discusses the 2012 Pulitzer Prize Committee’s decision not to name a finalist in the fiction category (announced on April 16). She emphasizes, “Reading fiction is important.” Patchett mentions some of this year’s finest publications in fiction, and the cultural hole being left by a finalist not be selected. Although we are not privy to the reason for this decision, it still sad news.
Most generations are suffering from the “digital-age” syndrome: brevity as the daily conundrum. People are reading vast amounts of information and smaller amounts of well-written prose. Of course, there is good literature found in cyberspace (access to articles, journals, magazines, and newspapers to name a few), and the e-reader is popular.
While language is known to change and evolve, the physical form of books is doing the same. I often wonder if we shouldn’t be publishing mostly paperbacks–the original disposal read. The cost is reduced and the words remain the same; it doesn’t use electricity or super strain your vision. Early pulp fiction spread the printed word (economically and effectively–even providing space for artists to make a few nickels and dimes). There’s nothing wrong with grabbing an idea from the past for the present.
And so I also dedicate my award to the printed word–not brief bites but sturdy prose that gives us another way to see ourselves and the world. To quote from my nominator’s blog: “Writing is my profession. Reading books is a passion.” Let’s lobby for more reading of books, more time spent in a hammock deeply entranced by the printed word.
As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of this blog.