Words, Smart Alecs, Accuracy, and Proper Terminology

I’ve been enjoying re-reading the Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun, the exploits of Qwill, Koko, and Yum Yum. He’s a journalist, semi-retired, living “400 miles north of everywhere” in a state that sounds a bit like Minnesota.

Qwill writes a twice weekly column for the local paper, The Moose County Something, each column consists of 1,000 words. That got me to thinking: What does 1,000 works look like? How many words do I routinely write in a blog post? If there is a feature that tells me that on my WordPress site I haven’t been able to locate it, but I’m not through looking.

However, I remembered that anything I write in a Word document has the word total listed at the bottom left of the page. So, I’m typing this as a Word document to document how many words I’m writing. I’m up to 150 words now.

This leads me to an online conversation with a delightful lady who reads my blog and who referred to me as a “writer”, which was very sweet of her. But I had to explain that, “No, I’m not a writer, I’m a blogger, and there is a difference.” My daughter is a writer. She’s written online articles for people, off and on, for several years and actually gets paid for it. I just blather on about one thing and another, don’t pay a lot of attention to sentence structure or punctuation or any of that grammar stuff. I tend to write the way I speak, North East Texan aka Texian. That’s a nice way of saying I’m a bit of a hick. I know that. It’s who I am. It doesn’t bother me in the least.

I’m just trying to make a point: Writers who get paid for writing are professionals. I’m not a professional anything…unless you count Homemaker. Yeah, that will work, although no one gives me a paycheck for what I do…as Audrey once told her friends at school when they wanted to know where her mom worked. That’s my girl!

And that leads me to another conversation many years ago when I was just becoming somewhat computer literate and had discovered a game site called Pogo.com. Pogo is still around but is greatly changed and updated and looks, and behaves, nothing like it did in the beginning. I was sitting with several ladies at a quilting frame, stitching away and talking about all sorts of things, when the subject of playing games on the computer came up.

One woman, who is a bit of a Smart Alec at the best of times, was trying to tell the other ladies that I was an online “gamer”, at which the rest of us all went off into hoots of laughter and Miss Smart Alec sat there looking uncomfortable.

Turns out every single woman in the room, except Miss Smart Alec, regularly played Solitaire and word games on…you guessed it…Pogo! After the gales of laughter stopped, the eldest member of the group, without looking up from her needle and thread or missing so much as a stitch, went on about how she regularly chatted with people from all over the world while playing games on Pogo, but that Pogo was not strictly a gaming site as such, as least not the way the term is used these days.

She explained that the online roll playing games that her grandchildren enjoyed are what people mean when they refer to gaming sites. At this point think of “Big Bang Theory”, Leonard, Sheldon and the rest of the nerds. Those dudes are Gamers, Miss Smart Alec. So, let’s be accurate, shall we?

Bottom line: Nothing tickles me more than someone who is trying to come off as being all knowledgeable about a particular subject, but who is actually clueless about said subject, having their ass handed to them on a regular basis.

I’m happy to say that I don’t suffer from a need to be admired or looked up to by others, for any reason, on any subject. Including knitting, spinning, and so forth. I guarantee that of all the things I enjoy doing, and do quite well by the way, there will be countless others who are more knowledgeable and better at whatever it is than I am. And that is fine with me! I don’t need to be an expert. I just enjoy what I do.

I remember one woman at a public demonstration where I was set up with one of my wheels, whom I inadvertently angered by correcting her when she called me an expert at spinning. I told her I was far from an expert and that there were many, many techniques that I hadn’t even tried that an expert spinner would be, well, an expert at performing! She was offended. I didn’t care. I’m self-taught. I’ve figured out over several decades now the type of yarn I enjoy spinning, and the type of yarn I would never enjoy spinning. An expert could do all of it!

I do attempt to improve my spinning when possible. I spent years learning to spin finer yarn and ply it for thicker yarn. I would like to be able to spin any thickness of yarn I needed without having to think much about it. My favorite is two-ply lace weight yarn. It takes forever to spin a bobbin of singles and then ply it, but it’s worth the effort. Next, I enjoy spinning three ply fingering yarn for socks, scarves and hats.

The one thing I’ve not been able to do consistently is to spin a three ply worsted weight yarn. It always seems to turn out more like Aran than worsted. But I’m still working on it. Actually, there is a partial bobbin on the Kromski wheel that is part of a three ply project for more of a sport weight yarn. It’s been sitting there, neglected for some time, and I know I’ll have to pay attention to be able to get back to the same singles I was spinning when I put that project on hold.

And, now, I am ready to finish this post, having just reached a total of 1,035 words.

Published by thenerdyyarnlady

I am a Native Texan, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Catholic Convert residing in rural North East Texas since 1975 when I married my husband and this small town girl became a country girl. I was taught to knit at the age of ten and discovered the writings of Elizabeth Zimmerman shortly after I married. I learned to ‘unvent’ things as I went along, to create my own patterns and generally have a blast with yarn and needles. In the mid 1980’s I explored the idea of spinning my own yarn and eventually got interested in weaving on a floor loom. I have three spinning wheels and a 24″ four-shaft Herald floor loom that I purchased from a friend in the 1990’s. I also enjoy sewing, tatting and making rosaries. I have a work room that contains my fiber, yarn, floor loom, sewing machines, serger and rosary making supplies. I have a spinning corner in a bedroom next to my work room, both with north windows looking toward the creek.

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