Category Archives: Language

Christian Examines Faith Through Darth Vader, Foul Language

Do you like strange religious writing? The kind without cliches? That hits pressure points you didn’t know you had, sometimes popping joints back into alignment, other times throwing your back out? How about religious writing that’s NSFW, i.e., tosses around a few swear words for effect?

The Cynic Testifies is a blog of mine. It chronicles the thoughts and experiences of the last person I ever expected to become a Jesus Freak:



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Spackle Media Launches Skrib Magazine

Spackle Media today launched Skrib Magazine, a writing website geared towards freelance writers, publishing professionals, and lovers of all things scribed. It focuses on the art and profession of writing, balancing on its many splayed hands the silver platters of industry news one-offs, protracted confessions on the writing life, interviews with established authors, and just what it means to craft a passage that taps the heart of author and reader.

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Your Entire Facebook History, Analyzed

“Will, you like to talk about Philosophy, Literature, and Social Media. You are introverted and spiritual. You post statuses to Facebook most often in the morning using”

So says Social Me, an excellent online tool that reads your entire Facebook history, applies a few mysterious algorithms, and spits out a comprehensive report about your Facebooking habits, cognitive leanings, personality traits, people you interact with, and loads of other interesting revelations. As a writer, I especially liked the way it compares certain facts about my writing style with the general population. Allegedly I use:

  • more words per sentence than 85% of people.
  • more commas than 89% of people.
  • fewer exclamation marks than 89% of people.
  • more dashes in my writing than 85% of people.
  • more quotation marks in my writing than 93% of people.
  • longer words than 93% of people.
  • words with more syllables than 94% of people.
  • fewer concrete words than 87% of people.

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Towards a Better Living Reality Through Language

All human verbal language is mental programming. When you type, write, or speak, you are causing your audience to make a copy of the message in their own minds. Some minds are more open than others to linguistic programming; others have more Byzantine spam blockers, anti-virus scanners, and password-protected firewalls. But those very security measures too are mere languages, just slightly more sophisticated. If you speak those languages and understand their contours, you can navigate or bypass them, write new programs, and rewrite existing programs.

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My Writing Influences

A selection.

My mother, bon vivant and grammarian. She reveled in beauty and words — the sound of them, their subtle meanings. She had a larger working vocabulary than most people I knew while growing up, and her enunciation was informed by her long-ago training as an opera singer. When she spoke, the words came out of her mouth clear, distinct, richly formed. “Ain’t” was not allowed in our house. My mother made a point of making me aware of the English language, treated it as something precious, a treasure trove of intellectual and emotional expression. Her journals, many now lost or at least missing, are filled with poetic musings, diary entries, shopping lists, reviews of radio shows, consternation about her personal relationships, and whatever else might have come to her mind each morning, a cigarette in her left hand, a pen in her right, and a cup of coffee cooling on the dining room table. Her example led me to start journaling by the time I was 10.

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