April 18, 1997

Dear Diary:

Weather today -- mildly overcast
Mood today -- good
Fly count for yesterday -- 0
HF -- 632%

An interesting (to me) change in my surfing habits on the Web has been occurring since I've been become involved with Cardigan. Although I've been a member of Open Pages for most of the seven months I've been on the Web, I never used to surf diarists' sites. All that has changed recently and I now find myself cruising sites specifically to scope out journals and diaries. Voyeurism is alive and well in the Jordaan household. :)

One trend I'm seeing in diaries is towards pretention, and I do not exclude my own in that statement. It's interesting to me to see many journals that seem to be forums for showcasing real or imagined writing skills rather than places of introspection, reflection and exploration of one's thoughts and feelings. There appear to be two distincts styles of diaries: those that scream "look at me, I'm a writer" and those that whisper "look at me, I'm a human being." And for my money, I'll take the "human" journals any day.

I've become quite bored with the journals and diaries of "writers." There is a redundancy in them of certain words and phrases, which I can only assume are the hot buzzwords right now. In today's wanderings, I found two journals which use the German word "uber" juxtaposed with an English word to mean a superior form of something. For example, on one page the author was discussing the method she uses when introducing strangers to one another. She referred to herself as an "uber-hostess," the implication being she is a hostess of superior quality. On another page (same day, mind you), was the term "queen uber-stereotypical butch dyke." I think the meaning intended here is quite obvious.

This usage of the German word for 'over' on two different sites' journals on the same day leads me to believe that perhaps this has become a common expression among the literati wannabes. It seems odd to me, though, that these writers would not bother to find out about and employ the umlaut over the "u," which is proper German. I have not used it here in this entry simply because 1) I make no claims to being among the literati and 2) I have no clue *how* to make an umlauted "u" on my computer. I would imagine in some instances the second issue is also an issue for these writers; however, if their aim is to be noted for their scintilating (and hopefully grammatically correct) writing, they might want to invest a bit of time in finding out how to employ foreign language words and phrases with some degree of accuracy.

Another trend I've noted among the "writers'" journals is the use of devices, as defined in the context of English literature. One of the two diaries I've mentioned used one such device today, in fact. The author wrote part of her journal entry in the form of an interview with a hypothetical journalist (not to be confused with journal-ist). It was... cute. But such devices bore me mighty quickly and I generally skip over those sections containing them. And I've yet to find a journal exploiting such devices which has even a hint of humanity or personality in it.

I guess when you come right down to it, if writing a diary which is "human" and gives me a glimpse into who the author is, what things matter to him or her, what values he/she holds dear and how he/she functions in a world that often seems insane means "a pedestrian recordings of the day's events," then that's the journal I want to read.

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Copyright (c) 1997 Elaine M. Jordaan

This page last updated April 18, 1997