My boss gets hung up on words, copywriter by profession – being a stickler for words is part of the job, but if he doesn’t like just one word, he doesn’t like the piece of work. It used to drive me mad, I mean it’s one word! But then I realised it wasn’t one word; it was the pursuit of perfection.
There are 26 letters in the alphabet, and out of those 26 letters, there are more than 171,476 words in the English dictionary. And that’s just English. As language evolves new words are added, and old words retired. It’s pretty magical that just 26 letters have written 129,864,880 books and novels. Think of all the blogs, Facebook statuses, twitter posts. Think of the letters written to long lost lovers, breakup texts and booty call messages. Think of the laws, policies, constitutions – the history made with just those 26 letters.
Seeing the world through a set of letters made me realise that writing is an art form, that one shouldn’t carelessly throw some words together but consider them. One’s head should be stuck in a dictionary, searching for synonyms and perfection.
Seeing the world through a set of letters made me realise that perfection, however impossible to attain, is in the detail. It’s in the ‘ah that’s so small, nobody will notice’ moments, not just for writers but for everyone. For plumbers, police, lawyers and cooks – whatever your chosen profession is, see it as an art form, see the detail.