my computer hates me
|The Computer is Driving Me Mad|
Sometimes I think
My computer is trying
to drive me mad.
as I watch the news
consumed with fear
non-stop gloom and doom
the endless political games
the endless violence.
I turn on my computer
My computer likes to play games
It likes to refuse to find documents
Or randomly open documents
Constantly playing the blue spinning ball
While flashing non-responding messages
It crashes giving me haiku error messages
Then I reboot and finally
It begins working
Before playing its endless games
Often randomly turning on the num lock
Turning the text into lines
As if it is channeling some evil creature
The number of the beast
Straight out of revelations
I wonder if my computer
Has become possessed
By the devil
Is Bill Gates the devil?
One, two, three, four
one, two, three, four
Are you ready for some linguistic calisthenics to strengthen your writing muscles?
Ever since Casper Milquetoast stepped into a panel of The Timid Soul cartoon strip in 1924, his name has become synonymous with "meek" and "unassertive." His creator, Harold T. Webster, described him as a "man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick."
Today, we forge ahead on our campaign against the wussification of the English language.
Our first target is passive verbs. Compare the statement "She is going down the street" with "She walks down the street" and the even stronger "She struts down the street." Each of those descriptions paints a more distinct picture of the action involved and adds a little more engaging vim and vigor than the one before it.
The second target is adverbs. In his book On Writing, Stephen King says "I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” Many writers use adverbs as crutches for weak verbs, and many adverbs turn out to be completely unnecessary. For example, consider the phrase "He smiled happily." Does the smile not tell the reader that he is happy? Adverbs are also used to intensify the action. Instead of saying "He ran quickly," we could say "He raced."
The next target is abstract and generic nouns. Abstract terms, such as "love" or "pain," are difficult for the reader to perceive, because every reader has a different set of circumstances associated with those words. Specific actions can convey those impressions much more clearly. The Latin suffix -tion means "the act of." If the subject is a noun ending in -tion, a strong verb may be present in the middle of the word. For example, creation means the act of creating. Find the strong verb, then make it even stronger.
Milquetoast has a way of creeping into our writing as we try to capture fresh ideas. Taking the time to root it out and replace it with dynamite will ensure we keep a firm grasp on the reader's attention.
The following link offers a compilation (Ooops! ), make that compiles a list of muscular verbs, nouns, and modifiers to strengthen the vitality of your expression: https://d39smchmfovhlz.cloudfront.net/qWrrfb4gc0tNEcCROx7Y1WHtfNUZuRzKm8UvkKHTvg...
Your assignment: Think about some emotions you experienced recently. Write about that emotion from the perspective of some inanimate object.