Tag Archives: hate-speak

IN a world where you can be anything, be……

So this post has been a long time coming, so buckle up buttercup ‘cuz I got something to say.

People who know me know I like to quote famous women when the situation calls for it. One of my favorite sayings is attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth and was reportedly stitched on a pillow she had in her receiving room. I pull this little ditty out at times when people start to make disparaging comments about other people and I don’t want what they are saying to be overhead. It goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, come sit by me!”

Now one variant on this I’ve seen is this one:

Which, truthfully, is what most people think when they hear the first iteration.

But I have a different slant on this because  I have saved people from making fools of themselves on more than one public occasion by interjecting this into a conversation that, if overheard, would cause the person speaking some embarrassment at the very least.

Because I say this – often – it got me thinking about the state of the world we live in these days, where strangers have been given carte blanche for saying anything and everything about you on social media without any real consequences. Social Media and especially in my opinion Twitter, is the new bully. Not the entity itself, but it does give bullies the pulpit ( the very real definition of a BULLY PULPIT!) and a platform in which to advance their hateful ways.

We all know that the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is a blatant lie. Don’t believe that? Get your head out of the sand and check the high school stats for teen suicides from relentless verbal and social media bullying.

I have a dear and lovely writing friend who never comments on social media about her political views or beliefs. One day, she broke that rule and within seconds began to suffer a backlash from tweeters calling her stupid, an epithet I will not repeat nor spell here, and various other nasty things. She could have done the knee-jerk thing that 99.99% of people do nowadays and responded to the negativity with negativity of her own.

She did not.

Instead, she took the high road and for every nastygramTweet she received, she responded with a meme featuring Mr. Rogers, the king of kindness. Brilliant. Why was it brilliant, you ask? Well, when she responded to the hashtag feed, every negative statement made to her was flooded with a kindness themed one. Pretty soon it was those Mr. Rogers kindness memes that were trending and not the hateful hashtagspeak.

Now, bear with me here for a moment. D0 you remember that 1970’s commercial for Fabergre Organics shampoo? The one that said,” If you tell a friend, and she tells a friend and so one and so on?”

Well, that was a very effective marketing campaign for its time. My idea to combat the negativity spreading like venereal disease along the planet and born of that effective marketing campaign, is this: when you hear something negative be it on twitter, facebook, any where there is a platform for bullying and hatespeak, combat the negativity with something positive and then retweet/share/link it to all your followers. People will respond to that positive message by retweeting/sharing/linking it all their followers, and so on and so on.

Think it won’t work? Let me give you a come to Jesus moment, peeps.

Every day I tweet/fb/ instagram a morning motivation. It is always a positive affirmation. And every single solitary morning and all throughout the day, I see it pass by my twitter and FB feed with retweets and shares. Most of that traffic is from people I don’t know from Adam. SO if you don’t think you have the power in your hands and at your keyboard to combat the negative with a positive, again I will say to you: get your head of out of the sand.

I could have said get it out of a different place – like a body part – but…trying to be good here, peeps.

Does this sound a little Pollyana to anyone?  Too saccharine? Too old school? If it does, okay, ‘cuz sometimes you gotta go old school to combat the present day bulls**t.

So, darling peeps, my rant is over. The lesson learned today: Don’t give into the negative. Shine your light in the direction of positivity any way you can. It does work. Light will ALWAYS drive away the darkness.

Rant over.

Until next time ~Peg

 

3 Comments

Filed under Pet Peeves

Autocorrect…and why I hate it

A negative blog title for sure, but there’s a reason. The other day I got a lovely GIF from an absolutely lovely friend with a birthday wish. The GIF was funny, so I texted back right away. The beginning of my text was ” HAHAHAHAH”. Or it was supposed to be. Somehow my finger slipped and I wound up typing this “HAHAHAHAHFGAHA” Since I was in the grocery store at the time and not paying attention, the autocorrect feature on my phone changed what I wrote to something Horrible. Truly. A word that I never use, hate to hear, and wish didn’t exist. I’m not going to write the word because I hate it so much but look at this HAHAHAHAHAHFGAHA and try to figure it out for yourself. I have no excuse except I wasn’t paying the attention I should have been before I hit the SEND button.

Needless to say, when the friend who received the text saw what was written, the word that was added, that person was hurt, mad, and probably a million other emotions I can’t begin to imagine. Saying I’m sorry doesn’t seem enough. Not really. I hurt this person – something I would never do, consciously or intentionally and for that I am to blame for not checking before I hit send.

Why am I blogging about this? The reasons vary but the main one ( aside from owning that I did something so stupid!) is because, as writers, I think we need to pay closer attention than ever before when we send something out to an editor, an agent, a publisher. Check everything. Every line. Every word. Every punctuation mark, to ensure what you have written is what you want to send. For my indie friends who self-publish this is uber important. I’ve read two self-published books lately ( not from friends!!) where I spotted several incorrect word uses, punctuation problems, and even missing words. Traditionally published authors need to be hyper-vigilant, too, esp. before copy edits come out. I read an ARC from a very well known writer recently that I won in a GOOD READS contest and there were quite a few sloppy edits. I know this will probably ( hopefully) be fixed in the final copy before widespread release, but you never know.

As writers, we want to not only make sure our words are correct – that they are truly the words we meant to pen – but that we are making the impression we want to make. What does it say to a Literary Agents who reads a manuscript that has numerous typos, misspellings, and incorrect grammar use? One thing it tells her/him is that representation won’t be coming from them. Same with a publishing editor. A PE reads hundreds, if not thousands, of items per week. If she has two manuscripts, one filled with mistakes, one perfect, you can pretty much guarantee unless the imperfect one has the potential to be the next Harry Potter, she’s gonna pick door number 2. Do we really want our chances at publication to become a choice between a pretty perfect, clean manuscript, and one that…isn’t? I certainly don’t, and after this little incident I’m writing about here, I’m being ubercareful with everything I write then send.

I can catch mistakes much more readily when I type them on my laptop than when I type on my phone. My laptop doesn’t automatically correct words it thinks are wrongly used. My phone does. I simply keep forgetting that, which is why I need to be  extra attentive when sending something from my phone.

Learn from my mistakes, people! Your phone doesn’t think for you- although it’s trying to. That’s the purpose of autocorrect in my humble opinion.  DO NOT LET automation take over. I feel like we are closer to that day when robots rule the world than ever before. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic ( ya think?!)… but, just saying.

I truly long for the days when we actually wrote out messages in letters and on note cards. I believe we were better spellers, communicators, and interactors. We established eye contact with the person we were communicating with and were able to interact on a more human level, one to one.

Technology, though, is here to stay. Okay. So I’ll embrace it. But I’ll be checking it more and more to make sure what I want to say is what is actually being said and not CORRECTED by a non-sentient entity who can not emote, think for itself, and has no soul.

Just saying…

 

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Strong Women