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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lady Bracknell vs The Editor

I don't particularly want to shatter anyone's illusions, but most readers will have realised that Lady Bracknell and the Editor are both written by me. (I know: shocking, isn't it? Father Christmas is real, though. Definitely. Without a doubt.)

A lot of what I do in The Day Job involves re-writing existing documents in simple language which will make sense to members of the public with a reading age of 11. I understand why it's considered necessary to do this (in a business environment, at least), and I flatter myself I'm really rather good at it.

But I love language. I like it as complex as possible. Every fibre of my being rejects the concept of Plain English. I had a classical education. I can parse. I can follow the syntax of a well-written sentence regardless of its length. I derive real joy from reading the work of people who have a good command of the written word.

So Lady Bracknell is my escape from work constraints. This is my blog, and I can write it in whatever style I want. There is no obligation on me to make it accessible for the hard of understanding. Writing as Lady Bracknell amuses me. It also allows me to write lengthy paragraphs about Cough All. Which, when your life is as uneventful as mine, comes in rather handy if you want to retain any readers.

I haven't, however, been able to think in Lady Bracknell's voice since the Tramadol brain fog set in. I simply haven't had the mental agility to compose those long sentences. So I sent her away for a while, and wrote as myself.

She's about ready to make a come-back now, though. I can feel her hovering in the back of my mind. She's appalled at the mess I've made of "her" blog, and she wants to take back the reins.

But I read through a few months' posts last night, and I was surprised to find that, on the whole, I prefer "The Editor's" work. I had thought it was a very poor substitute for Lady Bracknell's outpourings, but now I'm not so sure. I think LB may have reached the end of her useful life. It's possible that I've stretched the joke that little bit too far, and that it's now near breaking point.

However, I can't look at my own work objectively. And, given that I'm writing for an audience, that audience's opinion matters to me. I want to entertain my readers, not bore them unconscious.

So. You get to decide. There's one vote per person, and the poll is open until a week tomorrow. There are three choices. You can have Lady Bracknell back (although that will always be interspersed with a tiny bit of Editor, because some things just don't work in Lady Bracknell's voice); you can have no Lady Bracknell at all; or you can vote for a combination of the two.

I'll leave it in your capable hands...

PollPub.com VoteThe Aristocrat or The Editor?
Bring back Lady Bracknell: she is MUCH better than that boring Editor.
Editor all the way for me: I can actually understand what she writes.
Why have only one when you can have both?

View Results

Poll powered by PollPub.com Free Polls


Anonymous Aging Juvenile Binky Huckabuck said...

Surely there is only one choice. Three options but just the one choice!

How's the brian fog coming along?


3:27 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Perhaps, rather than the Editor occasionally posting on Lady Bracknell's blog, Lady Bracknell could come by for the occasional guest post on the Editor's blog?

3:27 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Come on, guys. Don't scare me like that. I only published this post about four nano-seconds ago.

I now have visions of you spending your enter lives pressing F5....

3:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted to bring back Lady B. Not just to the blog but to your day job too!

I too read and write the articles aimed at the Great British "11 year old".

I don't need tablets for a brain fog - just a few minutes in here does an admirable job.

3:54 pm  
Blogger S. said...

You tempted me out of lurking--and the poll results, at this point, are hilarious, since there is a pie chart based on four votes!

I think the imminent return of Lady B. is great because it means you're feeling up to doing her again.

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be lying if I said that Her Ladyship wasn't the one who drew me here in the first place-- I love language too, and I love to see other writers play with it. But I have appreciated that your more recent writing has given me a chance to get to know you-- and by extension to be a little more myself in my comments than when I first arrived. So it's all-- as I keep hearing people on LiveJournal say-- good. :)

*F5 F5 F5*

4:19 pm  
Anonymous Sara said...

Oh, ha ha. I suppose you're also the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus?

What is it you English say? "Go on; pull the other one," or something like that?

4:44 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

Blimey a big swing for the split personality by the looks of things.

4:50 pm  
Blogger seahorse said...

I'm with Mary. I've missed Her Ladyship, but ultimately you, the Editor, can choose when and how often to give her a platform. Of course, she may just grab it off you and run away with herself, but that in itself would make for an amusing read. Maybe it's one to just run with. See which voice emerges. There is room for both. I'm just glad she is wanting to emerge from the fog.

5:02 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

It might be the f5... I can't tell, the decal has worn off. ;-)

6:28 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

This is fun.

I'm hoping to start a whole new trend in our little corner of the blogosphere for opinion polls. Possibly about very little.

Just so that we get to say "ooh and "ah" at the pretty pie-charts...

7:01 pm  
Blogger An Unreliable Witness said...

I voted for both.

However, like any exceptional writer - which you undoubtedly are - you have a very individual voice, which is yours and only yours, yet that can be adjusted to different tones. Lady Bracknell is wonderful, and the incisive, take-no-prisoners posts she has written have been essential reads. Yet, as someone who has always veered towards 'personal' blogging - as long as it's creative and wonderfully-written personal blogging rather than 'I AM SOOOOO CRAZEEE! LOLOL!!!' - I must also confess that I have loved your more individual, personal tone over recent months, even if many of those posts have been borne out of less than ideal events and experiences.

Having said all that, and been far too straight-faced, I'd better insert the usual flippant, sarcastic sign-off, hadn't I?

"Lady Bracknell? The Editor? The SAME person? I am shocked. Appalled. Horrified. And other words. I am going to have to go and lie down in a darkened room with a moist tea-towel over my head in order to recover!"

8:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have voted to bring back Lady B in tandem with the Editor, but I'll understand if the Tramadol makes that an impossible target. But Lady B was one of my favourites!
Okay, her blog was written by the real owner of Bertie and Caspar, but I too love long sentences, and she was a mistress of them.
Luckily I'm not surrounded by people who've forgotten how to use the English language, and I know that it has to evolve, but surely we can be allowed to keep some of the balderdash and piffle?
Long live anyone who knows and cares about this!
Angie xx

12:09 pm  
Blogger fluttertongue said...

I find that the tone of my writing (if I dare call it that - sounds dreadfully pretentious coming from somebody who can only just string a sentence together) varies depending on the company I have been keeping or, more often, the matter I have been reading at the time. The Camus week was a tad unfortunate.

12:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic from this poll (though I voted for both! both! both!), but I happened to come across an article on some new research they're doing on pain, especially how women experience pain differently from men, and how to treat pain. I've no clue if any of this would necessarily be in any way new to experienced "ouchy crips" like her ladyship and many of her readers (can a crip of the non-ouchy variety use the term "ouchy crip"? can a person with a mostly non-mobility-related impairment use the term "crip"?):


As a side note: I recently injured, not one, not two, but at least SIX of my fingers, most to the point where they not only hurt but were unusable for several days (and some of which still go into rebellion and stop moving if I try to do too much with them). I seem to recall her ladyship indicating that even a minor finger injury instantly makes one a complete expert in pain in every form and degree of intensity! So I can now say with complete confidence that I understand EXACTLY what your 16-year-long chronic pain condition is like ....

*waits for Lady Bracknell to fall over herself groveling with gratitude at being, at long last, completely UNDERSTOOD*

Er ... Right? ... Right?

Wait ... what do you MEAN that this is the complete opposite of what you were saying in your May 28 '07 post entitled "Them"?

And, why are you yielding that cane so, er, angrily?



*remembers that I am already across the Atlantic Ocean and relaxes in relief*



P.S Drink warm water!

12:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for both of you--because you each have much to offer.

But honestly, I'll keep reading your blog as long as there are pictures of Bertie and Caspar to look forward to.

Because someone who is owned by two such lovely cats is always worth reading.

1:59 am  
Anonymous Binky Huckabuck (age 12) said...

Bring back Lady Bracknell.

9:54 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Time for confessions: I am hard of understanding.

Nevertheless the thoughts of Lady Bracknell mysteriously attracted me. I couldn't resist comming back to her blog again and again, eagerly awaiting the numerous words I had never seen or heard before. I soon found I couldn't live without the challenge to remember after six or seven lines what the beginning of the sentence was all about.
Therefore you may blame it on my ignorance that I could not find a significant difference between posts written (or dictated) by Lady Bracknell and those written by the editor herself. My vote clearly is to keep both them happy and alive.

Father Christmas is real??!! So it is about time to start behaving myself.

2:44 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


Hard of understanding? You are nothing of the kind.

Hey, I was pretty fluent in Greek twenty-odd years ago. Fluent enough to dream in Greek. But I wouldn't have had a hope with a blogger writing in Greek in the style of a fictional 19th century aristocrat.

Have you any idea how much we admire your English??

But, yes, you're right. Even writing as myself I still have a tendency towards very long sentences. Just using slightly more accessible vocabulary!

9:54 pm  
Blogger Marcelle Proust said...

S'il vous plait, continuez Miladi Bracknell, une dame tellement comme-il-faut.

4:53 pm  

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