Monday, September 28, 2009

A Totally Unoriginal Post

A while back, Hot Stuff called me unoriginal. Can you even imagine? Yeah, it's been rolling around in my brain, and I even made a small deal about it here.

What happened was, I had made a comment about something trivial and Hot Stuff said, "Don't say it like that, you sound just like Doreen. You always talk like your friends. Don't you have your own voice? You're so unoriginal."

Well, excuse the shite out of me.

You know what? I do sound like my friends. I pick up their little turns of phrase, their inflections, and their particular word choices, and I use them as my own. Usually, I sound like whichever friend I am talking to at that moment. Unconsciously (until now, obviously), I have been mimicking my friends. I never did it in a mocking way, I just did it.

Here's the really funny part: I see now that I have done it here, too. On my blog. Think you and I have a lot in common? We do. It's because I read you and like you and I have unconsciously taken your style of writing and added it to the mishmash of everything else I read and when I write something, a little bit of everyone shows up.

It's all about empathy: imitation is directly linked to building empathy. If I imitate you, then I will learn to better understand you, and therefore, I will have a better understanding of more people in the world. It's an automatic social behaviour.

If you see yourself here, do not be offended. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I'm not copying you or "homaging" you or any of that bullshit. I am connecting with you, and I am subconsciously absorbing your style in order to bond better with you.

Don't you feel special now?

9 comments:

  1. Seriously dude. You're freaking me out. I feel like my best, most fulfilling stuff is when I'm channelling The Bloggess. Her lawyers would call it "plagerism" if it was actually recognizable. Just because I *feel* like that's what's happening, doesn't mean it's recognizable.

    This IS pretty original, by the way! And I'm going to copy it. I mean, channel it.

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  2. It's human nature. And it's how we find our voices - picking up the stuff we like from others and making our own - even if (like most of us) your own happens to be a hodgepodge of everyone else you like.

    Honestly - we're herd creatures. I almost avoid dooce so as not to unintentionally pick her up. But she's there, along with everyone else I've ever read. Including Tom Robbins - but I only aspire to sound like him. It never really happens.

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  3. Dude. I'm fucking special as fuck.

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  4. I do the SAME THING! If I see a blog I like I emulate their writing 'cause well- I like it. :)

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  5. Well, of course. And you couldn't pick a better person to flatter. ;P

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  6. I do that too! Love your blog. Don't you feel special now....just kidding. :)

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  7. How on earth did you read my mind? my fave expression lately due to the quitting thing is "I'm a little stabby" which I might just have lifted from one of you fine ladies out there in the blogosphere.

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  8. Dude, I fucking love Aunt Becky cause she's so fucking special.

    And so am I, thanks for noticing.

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  9. Heaping praise. Love the blog, and will venture to inject a little sliver of your essence in my next post. That sounds weird.

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