Saturday, March 12, 2016

Thing (03/12/16)

Sorry, I wasn't able to post yesterday. I was at a school function that lasted until late, and I didn't get back until late. I don't see the point in posting extra to make up for yesterday because I don't have anything extra special to say.

Today, however, I have something a little different.

A defense.
For the word "thing" in school writings.
With commentary that may occur in an actual fencing match.
Kinda. I'm not the best with fencing terms and official rules.

En guarde, English teachers.
The first one to reach three points wins.
Salute to each other, salute to the referee, and salute to the audience.

The argument of the teachers takes the first advance. Students use the word "thing" in writing in an attempt to be lazy. The students are unable to parry in time, and a point is given to the teachers. Score: 1 to 0

The teachers start another advance the same way, and this time the students are able to parry the attack and start their own. It can be used in certain contexts in a creative context. The teachers attempt a counter attack, but the students' blade triggers the point sensor. Score: 1 to 1.

The students begin the attack with their previous statement, and the teachers demand an example. Things start to heat up as the students reply that it can be used to convey suspense, such as saying there is a "thing" hiding out in the shadows. Once again, the sensor is triggered, and another point is awarded. Score: 1 to 2.

Once again, the students begin with an attack with the response of suspense, and the teachers parry and begin their own attack that other words can be used that better describe the situation while adding suspense. The blade makes contact, and a point is given. Score: 2 to 2.

The victory will be given to the scorer of the next point. The teachers advance with their last statement, and the students parry, demanding an example. They reply that the figure stands in the shadows, the monster stands in the shadows, or the creature stands in the shadows. The students parry that it's almost like using a pronoun, and that specifying even that it's a figure, monster, or creature may be too specific for the mood. Both blades land, and the referee has to look back at the instant replay to see whose attack landed first.

The students and teachers take off their helmets and shake hands. The crowd applauds both sides for the spectacular match.

So who won? Comment your opinion on whether or not you think the word "thing" is acceptable in more formal writing. Bonus points if you can use an example!

1 comment:

  1. "The students parry that it's almost like using a pronoun, and that specifying even that it's a figure, monster, or creature may be too specific for the mood. "

    See, here's the thing..ha!...If and that's a BIG if...every student were as astute as you are in your defense/fence of the word 'thing' there would probably be no need for this discussion at all.

    However...most aren't.

    So...if a 'banned' word in formal writing will get a student thinking and pondering and postulating and formulating and considering and maybe even turning the pages (digital or otherwise) of a thesaurus...then I'm all for it!