The Maniacal Rantings of the Urban Crone

Bear witness to the rantings of the Urban Crone as she emparts her wisdom in her own rather quirky way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spelling and Usage and Grammar.... Oh My!!!

I have a pet peeve. Actually, I have a whole farm of pet peeves, but out of all of them, this particular pet peeve is probably the largest, most sanity-testing creature of them all.
   As Witches, I feel we should be reasonably intelligent beings. Before the days of the Internet and Google paste and plug, Witches were required to not only read books, but understand them. We were required to have the intelligence to not only understand what we read in the book, but the ability to apply that understanding in some sort of real world application, whether it was casting a spell or creating a ritual. We handled words with thought and care because they carried weight, they had meaning, and we understood the power of the written word, so much so that we held it sacred. To me, an extension of holding the written word sacred was in its usage, that is, Spelling, Usage and Grammar.
   When I scroll down Facebook, or go to someone's blog, or look through someone's website, someone who is claiming to not only be a Witch, but be a Witch of some intelligence, and I see things like misspelled words, improper usage, and seriously poor grammar, I cringe. I don't cringe because I am some spelling/grammar warden. I cringe because this person is professing intelligence and knowledge, yet everything I am seeing screams otherwise. You see, to be a Witch is to understand and respect the Power of Words. They carry weight. They have significance. Yet, how is it that you could possibly understand and respect the Power of words if you cannot use or spell them correctly, if you cannot string them together in an intelligent manner, complete with at least punctuation where needed?
   Are you adding an ingredient "to" another ingredient before adding it to something, adding it to something as well as to something else (too), or are you needing more than one of that ingredient (two)? Usage matters, sometimes to the point of being detrimental to one's health and well-being.
  I have actually seen a page where the person was talking about creating Talismans, all the while spelling the word as "Talisments". If you cannot get something so basic as the spelling of the word right, do you really expect to create a functional Talisman? The very word itself has such power, such significance that you can write it on a piece of paper, tuck it in your pocket and it can serve as a Talisman all on its own, with only the energy of the word mixed with your own energy to drive it. That is how significant a single word is, and to misspell it shows a lack of respect.
   I went to a public school. I did not have any extra education as far as grammar, usage and spell, except if you count the quality of books that I read when I was younger, and more so as I started my path as a Witch. Crowley, Mathers, Waite, Spare, Fortune, Regaldie, Levi and so on were just some of the authors at my fingertips, and their writing was beyond measure. It was almost an orgasmic experience to turn each page of a book so intelligently written, even if I didn't agree with what was said. Those people understood the weight of words, saw them as full of a sacred power that required reverence. It would not even be thought of back when they were writing to bring the intelligence of their work down to the lowest common denominator, as we sometimes see today in literature and the Internet. Their expectation was that you should be intelligent enough to read what they were writing, or you probably should not be reading it.
   I got a message once from a woman who claimed that she had been a practicing Witch almost as long as I have, claimed to have read and understood some of the materials I have, and who also claimed a certain amount of intelligence. Yet, the entire lengthy message was one long run on sentence, void of any punctuation or capitalization, and full of misspelled and misused words. I could still decipher the message she was trying to convey, yet my mind instantly marked her as someone I would not seek council from, see as an equal, want to share circle space with and so on. Why?
  Words carry weight. Words have meaning. If you cannot even be bothered to take a moment to spell a word correctly, you are not understanding their significance. If you cannot even be bothered to take a moment to use them properly in a sentence, complete with punctuation and all the due they deserve, you probably show a lack of respect and care in other aspects of your practice.  And if you are not understanding the significance of words in general, how they carry weight and power with their mere presence, stop calling yourself a Witch as you probably are not understanding the significance of that word either.
  I know that sounds harsh, and I do understand that I am the one with the pet peeve, but to not respect the power and energy that the written word brings to the table is to not understand power and energy itself. And to lack an understanding of power and energy, even in the simple sense of the written word, is to lack a certain key piece of knowledge that I feel should be required to be a Witch. After all, even in written form...
"Words cast spells. That is why it is called Spelling. Words are Energy. Use them Wisely..."


Keith said...

Excellent point. and very true

Eclectic Learner said...

I do not call myself a witch. That said, I agree completely with what you have written here. Words, even for those not on the same spiritual path, do have power. Using them correctly shows respect for that power. Using words correctly when communicating with another shows respect for that other person. What more can I say than "You tell 'em!"? I tip my hat to you and bow.