I’m not sure if very many of you have noticed that my style of speaking is a bit weird. It’s “articulate” enough, but most of the time it also resembles an entry in a reference book. Heaven knows how I pull that off. If you and I have had a verbal conversation, you know what I’m alluding to.
Alluding? Oh, dear. The speech is creeping into the writing today. At least I had the decency to make it human by ending the sentence in a preposition. In this case, the preposition is “to”. “Off,” at the end of the previous sentence, doesn’t count this time — maybe — because it can be used as an adverb.
According to MacMillan Dictionary, “to” can also be an adverb. Oxford American Dictionary offers no such breaks, though.
Rock Hudson’s Police Commissioner character hasn’t let me down yet. I trust his dictionary. No offense to Telly Savalas, but screw Oxford — or whatever it was they called his character.
That said, if you and I were in a casual conversation, you would have had to suffer through the grammatically meticulous “the matter to which I am alluding” horseshit. It isn’t pretty.
For me, writing works better than spoken words. Except for right now.
Creative people aren’t supposed to sound that snooty when they talk. Not if they dress the way I do. Most of us agree you need more money than talent if you want to make it as a snob in this world.
Unfortunately, I spent years being ignored or shamed nearly every time I spoke. The situation reflected poorly on others, not on me. Still, I reacted by trying to perfect (used as a verb, with emphasis on the last syllable) every statement.
In a recent radio interview, David Sedaris described being treated that way as a child. He said he turned out better because of it. I think he was joking.
I was in my thirties before I could say something intelligent without planning the statement ahead of time, and now I overcompensate.
In case anyone who has heard me speak thinks I have a superior attitude, rest assured I probably feel a lot smaller than you do.
By the way, if you have noticed any punctuation errors in this post, please refrain from saying anything to me about it. Call your mother. Call your therapist. Call your priest. Just don’t call me.
A shorter version of this post appears on a private social media page.