By Lucy Pennock
2 SCABS for the price of 1
Plain Old English
I’m struggling to think of something to write. So like any writer I’m just going to start. And hope for the best? Cool. Let’s do this.
We’ve had some amazing people come in recently. The past 5 weeks have been a whirlwind of inspiring and motivating talks. Graeme Hall, Jonathan MacDonald, Steve Harrison, Andy Maslen, Peter Souter, Stu Outhwaite, David Levin. It’s been brilliant!
My mind has exploded, been pieced back together and then shattered again and again. Time after time. The amount of wisdom and knowledge passed down to us is endless. It’s like SCA has its own mini TED talks. I love it.
But I guess what’s stuck recently is Andy Maslen’s class and the Flesch Readibility Score thingy. It’s calculated by working out the average sentence length and average number of syllables per word and then doing something mathematical with them. Comics score in the high 90s. Legal documents in the low 10s. You get the point.
Anyway if we want to be good at our jobs we need to write in plain old fucking English. Write like you talk. In the pub, in the street, to our friends. Short, concise. Don’t use flowery words and long pointless adjectives. Keep it snappy. To the point.
If we want to improve our readability score then we also need to do shorten our paragraphs. The average should be about 5 sentences. Avoid the passive. Basically choose words carefully and make sure each and every single one counts. Shortening sentences is good, but also remember to switch up he sentence length to create rhythm. You don’t want to bore the reader. And last but not least know your audience. Keep it simple, but not too simple.
I was going to start rambling on about how some of my favourite writers are actually singer/songwriters.
But then it got boring so I decided to write down some of my favourite lyrics of all time and ended up making a shit poem. Enjoy…?
See if you can guess some of them…
When routine bites hard and ambitions are low.
And resentment rides high but emotions won’t grow.
The ties were black, the lies were white.
And shades of grey in candle light.
Flashback when you met me
Your buzzcut and my hair bleached.
You said I’m full of diseases
Your eyes were full of regret.
No, I don’t want your body,
But I’m picturing your body with somebody else.
I was born for the purpose that crucifies your mind.
You call me up again just to break me like a promise.
So casually cruel in the name of being honest.
I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.
Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much,
And maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up.
Now and then you miss It, sounds make you cry.
Some nights you dance with tears in your eyes.
And I’m sorry to whichever man should meet my sorry state,
Watch my sturdy, lonesome gait and beware.
I wonder about the love you can’t find
And I wonder about the loneliness that’s mine.
But now old friends they’re acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.
That he not busy being born is busy dying.
Don’t you worry your pretty little mind.
People throw rocks at things that shine.
The best people in life are free.
Hand Me A Towel, I’m Dirty Dancing.
Were you tortured by your own thirst
In those pleasures that you seek
That made you Tom the curious
That makes you James the weak?
You used to have a face straight out of a magazine.
Now you just look like anyone.
Beauty is that which obeys, is bought or borrowed.
Maybe I should give up, give in,
Give up trying to be thin,
Give up and turn into my mother,
God knows I love her.
Listen to the silence, listen let it ring on.
Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.
And irony is okay, I suppose, cos culture is to blame.
You try and mask your pain in the most postmodern way.
I found a grey hair in one of my suits,
Like context in a modern debate, I just took it out.
I fight crime online sometimes
And write rhymes I hide behind
Kids don’t want rifles they want supremes.
It’s not about reciprocation, it’s just all about me.
A sycophantic, prophetic, socratic junkie wannabe.
I’m assumin’ you’ll balloon, when you remove the dirty spoon
And start consumin’ like a human, that’s what I am assumin’.
Oh Mr. Serotonin Man, lend me a gram
You call yourself a friend?
The only apparatus required for happiness is your pain and fucking going outside.
Dragon clouds so high above
I’ve only known careless love
It’s always hit me from below
This time around it’s more correct
Right on target, so direct
Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze.
We’re singing in the car, getting lost upstate.
All the boys and their expensive cars,
With their Range Rovers and their Jaguars.
Never took me quite where you do.
You move to me like I’m a Motown beat.
You are a walking antique.
You are in my blood you’re my holy wine
I could drink a case of you.
Yer gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I’ll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love.
Keep a place for me.
It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you.
How I’d love to go to Paris again.