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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Shō ga nai "it can't be helped" or "nothing can be done about it"

This is an old blog response talking about changing the English language to better accommodate grammar.  The blogs I was responding to has long left the web now and with it went the company the published it and a number of odd books.

I can’t say this is all that interesting reading but sometimes I just need to put things up to clear my head.

29th January 2011

Shō ga nai  "it can't be helped" or "nothing can be done about it"

Lily, Lily, Lily, the world of words has never been one friendly to me, and changes in it are as vexing as rules that I don’t understand. It doesn’t help that I got the back of my head batted around like a baseball, and that I can’t process words the way normal people do as a result. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to respond to your blogs coherently without the use of a program to read my writing back to me.

The rules I learned in high school are now wrong. I’m sure they were wrong back then as well, but the teacher didn’t bother to brush up. Changing things will only bring us poor spellers further off the mark. Even worse, I have to deal with people regularly who don’t understand that I have a real problem and insist that I’m just lazy. I don’t think you can know what it feels like to have to relive the violence and years of pain I went through every time some idiot sticks their nose in the air and tells me I have a problem with words. Tell them you have a learning disorder and they sneer, tell them you have an injury and they don’t want to talk about it any longer.

Even in college, when I do turn in work that is free of spelling and grammatical errors I’m often shocked to find my grades are no hire.

I don’t want words to change; I just want them to get along with me. I’d just like to find a reliable source for grammar rules that I can understand. English has been around for a long time, we should have put it together right by now. 


  1. All grammar aside, we as humans have trouble following simple societal rules, such as judge not lest ye be judged and do to others as you would have done to you. Ignore the haters... As a product of the California school system, myself, I found most people struggled with spelling and grammar on a basic level. No one has the right to judge and they are probably mad that you're better at it than they are.

    1. As a ray of light, Rebecca, in the time since I wrote this I have gone to work in the housing a rehabilitation of the homeless youth (18-24 year olds) of the greater Los Angeles area. In my duties I do a good amount of writing now and I’m much appreciated for the work.

      Oddly, it had always been the snide comments of my teachers that were most lampooning in regard to my writing. The people of the world of education like to tell you about the ‘real world’, and still it tends to be that they have little experience in this real world of their fable and story.

      The written word and I will never truly for give each other for the battles we have had along the many years, but we have reached a truce in order to do some good in this world. I write more case notes describing the condition and behavior of my clients than all my coworkers combined.

      Words and I have our odd points, but we have found some peace.

  2. Quite the opposite, in my regard. Words and I have always made marvelous companions. We coexist nicely together. Perhaps not in the strictest grammatical sense. Who needs perfection anyhow? I was shy and very socially awkward. I still am. I kept to myself and my nose was almost always buried in a book. English teachers loved me. My peers did not. For the record, what you consider to be "finding some peace" with words, I consider to be doing quite well, actually. Better than most of the people I have come across. Ever read facebook posts filled with LOLs and gross abbreviations like "ur" for "your." My favorite is my cousin's ex-wife, who tacks on extra e's at the end of everything. "Why doesn't heeee loveeee meee?"

    How wonderful for you to find a way to practice writing and find positive use of your time. Leaving Los Angeles a better place and bettering yourself for the experience. I miss the west coast.

    Just because I was my English teacher's pet, doesn't mean I necessarily bought into the BS of education. I grew up, I had kids of my own. I chose to homeschool. Fable and story, indeed. I consider myself relatively bright. No genius, for sure. But reasonably intelligent. Imagine my surprise when teaching my daughter about the American Revolution that I learned that the version I got in high school equated to very little more than "American History for Dummies." So we learned together. Not in a classroom. But by some of those real-world experiences you mention. We learned about the Civil War by going to a reenactment and we humbly stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the Fall of 2011. We roamed the dusty galleries of the Smithsonian and learned things I'm for certain she wouldn't have learned sitting at a desk. Don't let the lingering memory of anything a teacher said get you down. If I've learned anything, it's that most teachers don't know half of what they claim to know.

    That being said, you can consider me an unlikely fan of your writing. It's refreshing to come across people of intelligence. Unlikely in the fact that it's across the void that it is the internet, and I'm still not entirely sure how I ended up here.