Let me back up. Last December, Linda H. left a comment on one of my posts. She wrote:
Hi MOM-NOS,How could I ignore a recommendation like that? I added the book to my "to do" list even though I'd never seen Bernstein's television show (still haven't), and it has taken me until now to finally get around to it.
I have a totally different subject matter than your post. I hope you don't mind. I just recently read a book, and you kept coming to my mind when I was reading it. It is a bizarre connection because the book is about archaeology. Possibly the connection because in human history there are many mysteries where there are clues to what happened, but no smoking gun evidence to make positive conclusions. To me understanding autism is very similar to this. Anyway, if you are looking for a book to read, I think you will really enjoy it. Don't let the title scare you away if archaeology is not your thing. The book is by Josh Bernstein (from the History Channel), "Digging for the Truth, One Man's Epic Adventure Exploring the World's Greatest Archaeological Mysteries".
So far, I've read the Foreword of Digging for the Truth, which is less than two pages long, and I can already see why I kept coming to Linda's mind as she read the book. And I don't think it's because I'm the Archaeologist of Autism.
I think it's this: Josh Bernstein writes in my voice. Or I write in his. Either way, we each use a quirky combination of writing conventions that, when taken together, create a fairly distinct style. Or I thought it was distinct. But (now, I see) perhaps not.
This discovery is actually well-timed, because I've been watching a writing meme float around the blogosphere, morphing with each post. For Kristen and Kyra, it was meme about writing strengths. For Drama Mama, it was observations about writing. For Niksmom, it was more of a writing confessional.
So, I'm jumping aboard the memewagon and morphing the meme a little further. My meme is entitled: "What I Learned About My Writing From Reading Less Than Two Pages Written By Josh Bernstein, or: How I Discovered that I'm Not So Original After All"
Some things that Josh and I have in common:
1. We use italics when we want to help the reader (and we always want to help the reader) know which word in a sentence should get the most emphasis - because, as you know, the right emphasis can make all the difference.
2. We tend to use a lot of dashes - though we use parentheses, too (like this) - because we make a lot of tangential comments in the middle of our sentences.
3. And we also start sentences with coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Even though some people consider it weak writing. But we don't care. So sue us.
4. For us, the comma is a useful little device, because it allows us to collect our thoughts, giving our readers a moment to pause, allowing us to construct lengthy sentences in which we reflect upon subject matter, insert our own perspectives, ponder their meaning, and, of course, make lists.
5. We're concise.
I'm anxious to continue reading the book, if only to find out more about my writing. But, I have to admit, I have a feeling that by the time I reach the end, I will want to either marry Josh Bernstein or punch him in the nose.