I have loved Martha Stewart for a long time. Mine has been a restrained, platonic, high-thread-count kind of tenderness toward her and, mostly, toward what she represents. She is one nation, under her massive ego, with linens and good things for all.
I love her magazine, most of all. I remember coveting a copy that my then-25-going-on-40 step-sister acquired while visiting during Christmas vacation. As with most of Marthas' covers, it was suffused with color, radiance, and that detached feeling that you get from someone who has a lot of money and knows how to spend it elegantly– the way their hair hangs just so, gathered in the delicate tortoiseshell clip, while they wallow in their crisp clothing as if their molecules were held together by a light breeze. I think of Audrey Hepburn and her cigarette pants, and I smile/covet/gape.
But my love for Martha may not be able to survive Twitter. Twitter: shatterer of illusion.
The problem with instant publishing is just that: it is instant. There are no edits and no anxious PR people standing around, spray-tanning flaws and shrieking nervously for the geeks to move it with the damned Photoshop because time is money, bitches.
There are no handlers and no managers and no image consultants.
And there is no grammarian.
So when Martha– connected minx that she is– decided to cross over to the cool side and join Twitter, she did so all on her own.
And my vision of perfection has forever been marred by her irresponsible run-on sentence use.
I realize nowadays no one cares about grammar. This is plenty obvious because I still remember our collective groans and protestations back in AP English when our beloved/behated English teacher made us check out these ancient little books from her private collection and zoom in on such arcane, draconian details such as whether the colons are missing from the time stamp; when do you use 'it's' and 'its'; why it's important to make your subject and your verb agree; or whether "would of" is ever correct (no).
And we AP kids sucked at grammar. We didn't know what a split infinitive was, or why it's important not to separate its components (<–oh snap! she illustrates with a non-split infinitive!). And we didn't know the horror of fragments and run-ons.
Fragments are fun. The Internets? Fragment. Abuse. City. Teh awezum. Really: a sentence may look odiously incomplete to some without a verb, but most people do the fragment thing for emphasis' sake.
Although I admit, I have seen some pretty bad fragments. Which just want to make me cry.
But run-ons have this choked, harried, mismanaged-mother-of-six quality: they are trying to do too much and the content just snowballs and the bottom line is that you sound like you really need Adderall. Or, alternately, you sound like you're just not very smart.
Sorry. It's true. When you don't even know how to parse your thoughts with a period, let alone colons, semicolons or at least a freaking dash or a comma (A COMMA!), for the love of something holy, you don't sound like you know how to write and that speaks volumes about who you are (i.e. not someone who shines with his/her use of language).
So you see, when I read Martha Stewart Living and especially when I read her monthly essay, I assume my paragon of perfection actually writes THAT WELL (if, really, dreadfully boringly). Now I need to adjust and realize that there is a whole team of editors who make Martha NOT sound like this:
after five days
with the "girls" on our road trip happy to be home and ready for bed
buit not until i finish Genesis a novel about A.I.
still on maine rd trip in movies about to see bruno no idea what its about decorating? any info to share?
it is raining in
maine for the 31st day in a row the moss and woodland is thriving but
the vegetables and flowers are suffering campers too
i am tweeting from the car on a blackberry odd things happen is this perfect technology?
the red camera is
made by the red digital cinema co-very high resolution digital
cinematography finally available at reasonable prices9:57 PM Jul 13th from web
So yes. Martha sounds like a teenager, or possibly like a dotty doofus, even as she vacations in her gorgeous Maine bespoke getaway, watches hip movies, uses her BlackBerry and promotes herself and her products.
And now, after having written this, I feel oddly better about myself.