Language and Grammar

I am particularly sensitive to grammatical mistakes in the German language, since it isn’t my native tongue. I like to think my English grammar is pretty good, but I know my German grammar is just barely acceptable, though I’ve been speaking it for twenty years now. Nevertheless, I hear Germans making grammatical mistakes in their own language all the time. It’s forgivable in the heat of a verbal conversation, but I’ll admit it sticks in my craw when I read it in normal prose, dialog aside, no matter in which language.
It’s about the flow of a story, for me. Prose has a flow, a rhythm to it, that makes it beautiful, or not. That is part of style, so you can’t simply separate grammar from style, because grammar facilitates a proper rhythm. Prose with sentences that are grammatically false is like a road with potholes, you’re always bouncing up and down, you can’t get comfortable with reading it. Like music with sudden jarringly false notes inserted, it simply doesn’t flow. Besides, there is more than enough flexibility in English grammar to encompass wildly different styles of writing without breaking the rules.
And, after all, language is an important part of the human cultural legacy that is passed on continuously, and it’s self-inherent beauty should be preserved. It’s also about proper communication, and that can’t be done when there are no common rules which everyone adheres to. That said, we also have to realize that languages are living, ever-changing beasts. The rules will be continuously bent and sometimes broken, and if enough people break and bend the same rules in the same way, it becomes common usage and will be accepted as correct grammar.
A good example of this can be seen in Germany, where the English language exerts an increasing influence over the last years. In both languages you have the possessive form, which is denoted in English by an apostrophe and the letter s attached to the noun in question, as in ”Martha’s dog“. In German it’s almost the same, except that there is actually no apostrophe, just the letter s attached, as in ”Marthas Hund“. However, over the last twenty years I have observed that the usage with apostrophe has become more and more common in the German language, though it is quite simply wrong, and I am willing to bet gold ingots against donuts that it will be accepted common usage in another ten years.
So, what’s write, and what’s rong? You’ll have to decide for yourself.



As some of you may know, or as all of you may not know, I am writing a novel. My father-in-law once said: every fool who has nothing else to do starts to write a book. Well, there you have it. In my defense, though, it should be said that he was referring to old men who write their memoirs. I am not yet what one would call old, and it’s not my memoirs I’m writing. Yeah. What I’m writing is totally cool, so there. You can read the first chapter here.
Oh, and, in case you were asking yourself, I am now listening to Professor Longhair. And, incidentally, I am on my second bottle of wine. I could use some cocaine, but nothing doing. I’m pretty fucking tired, actually. If I took cocaine now, I’d just keep drinking, and if I kept drinking, I’d take more cocaine… dang, would have balanced nicely.

Well, Not

Oh, fuck. Since I heard this one song from Gogol Bordello, Let’s Get Radical, there’s this little sweet bitch in my head. She is so god damned cheerful… perky, you might say. Especially on, omg I admit it, I have them, hungover mornings, she wakes me with a cheerful: good morning!
Terrible, nothing worse than cheerful people when you are, well, not.
Don’t get me wrong, I am often cheerful. Well. Sort of. No really. Very occasionally. But when I have a cheerful person, completely independent from me, in my brain, it’s sort of frightening. Jesus. As if I didn’t have enough problems. What remains, but to listen to loud music and write a stupid blog-entry?
The only question is, where am I getting the money for my next bottle of wine?

Save the Silent Cynic

Oxymoronic, that is, me writing about being a silent cynic. I really should just shut up, and keep my cynical views for myself. But obviously, in this day and age of fucking blogs, someone has to speak up for the silent. So I will be the poor fucking victim, I will make the bloody sacrifice, and speak.
So, the willing reader might ask, why should we save the silent cynic, what function does he serve, what the fuck does he do? The unwilling reader has already stopped reading, so we won’t trouble ourselves any further with him or her as the case may be. Oh, but there is then the reader who isn’t quite sure yet… well, read on, you’ll see soon enough if you’ve got the gumption to keep going.
So, where was I? Ah, the function of the silent cynic in our society, yes. First and foremost his function is (isn’t there a nicer, more intelligent word than “is” I could use here?) to be silent. But, through his silence he is not tacitly consenting to a damned thing, no, he is very patently making plain his disgust with mankind and all things in general. Through his refusal to say a damned word about what he thinks he is blatantly crying out his absolute negation of the sovereignty of the non-thinking assholes of this world.
By the way, I am listening to the song I Put a Spell On You, as rendered by Nina Simone. I dislike Nina pretty consistently, but this song, well, she does it right.
So… God, how I hate it when I continually start paragraphs with the same word. It’s something all the English teachers I ever had have tried to exorcise: to no avail. Oh well, fuck it.
So… what do silent cynics gain by their behavior? Not a damned thing, which confirms them in their estimation that humankind does not understand them or, for that matter, anything else. One more reason to be silently cynical. Vicious circle. Recyclable behavior patterns. Very efficient. Practically the greens of the philosophical world, or something.
By the by, I am now listening to Kaukapol, from 17 Hippies, a great band from Berlin. When I hear this song I have to drum on my tummy so hard my landlord hears it on the floor above, and if you think that’s just because the walls are so thin, well, the walls and floors are so fucking thick that my WLAN often can’t reach his repeater through them.
So… haha. So, you little fuckers, you little… twits. This little silent cynic is signing off for today, for the moment, to go and get even more drunk and think his little silent cynic thoughts all alone in cynical silence.