I realised in re-reading yesterday’s entry that it sounded like I was complaining about Ontario’s free health care. I don’t know what tipped me off, but it was probably the part where I wrote “I can’t complain about free health care, but I am.” Yeah, that sounds like it. So now I feel shitty that I appear ungrateful. I’m not. It turned out that this instance wasn’t ideal, but I think the system generally does a lot more good than harm. This brings me to today. Driven by my need to constantly be better, I’ll attempt to make it through the next half hour without complaining about anything. It’s like the I Have My Doubts version of the 40 hour famine. Let’s see how I do.
Here’s something. I’ve got no idea what style guide I’m following here. I don’t mean any physical sense of visual representation or nascent hint of je ne sais quoi that stands me apart from the rest (because frankly, I don’t know that I’ve got much of that. Not complaining, just being honest). I’m talking more about how I structure the endless parade of references and quotes I use here. At the moment I’m “flying blind on a rocket cycle”, as my main man Flash Gordon would say. So as you can see, in the paragraph thus far I’ve italicised a French saying, I’ve quoted a line from a movie (in quotation marks) and I’ve not italicised a reference to the eponymous character in the 1980 film. So far we’re going fine, right? Well what about when I talk about music? I’m fond of the idea of italicising band names and song names, because that makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense to me is italicising the name of a band member. A person’s name doesn’t seem like a viable reference worthy of italics. What if the band is instead an artist? If I was to review a live Sufjan Stevens gig, would I italicise his name at all? What if I did only when I was referring to the project holistically, but not when referring to an aspect of his performance specifically? That doesn’t seem too problematic.
The issue that’s occurred to me now is how I handle partial or tweaked quotes in the body of the text. You guys aren’t new to this, you know that I’m running a lengthy, messy, dense stream of consciousness that eschews most proper form in lieu of a rapid mental font. So what if I end up mishmashing up a known quote to better suit my needs? I’d love to be a stickler for properly attributing things I’ve swiped from others, but if it’s far enough removed from its source, is it necessary? Or will it tamper with the flow? Because as we know, when I write I’m virtually indistinguishable from a rapper at the height of his game. Jokes, we all know I’m a severe choking hazard. I can’t even tell if that made sense or not. Now I almost want to find an external source to attribute that terrible joke to. No such luck. ALSO NOT COMPLAINING HERE, GUYS. I’LL NEVER FORGET. I don’t think that “never forget” required quotes. I’m unsure though. THIS IS WHY I NEED A STYLE GUIDE.
Doing a quick Google (notice the company caps. Do I italicise a company? Sometimes I do, but caps should be enough. Let’s try not italicising from now on) for blogger style guide guided me to a couple of links. This one is my favourite, exclusively because I fail every single suggestion they provide. It sounds like a surefire way to improve my writing, but is clarity and brevity the answer that I’m really looking for here? Actually, probably yes. Will I take the call to adventure here and now to improve my writing for the sake of my regular readers out there who, frankly, deserve a lot better than I’m able to provide? No, because it’s late, I’m tired and my time is up. Once again, not complaining, just stating the facts.