The Ode Less Travelled

I was in Borders the other day, killing time before the Yorkshire and Humber Python User Group’s first meeting, and I picked up Stephen Fry’s “The Ode Less Travelled”. If you don’t know it, it is a guide to poetry with exercises to encourage you to write your own (don’t worry, none of mine will end up here). The main reason I picked it up was that I have read all of his other books and there was a “buy one get one half price” offer and I had already selected John Le Carre’s newest and that was part of the deal.

I knew I would like it when I got to this line in the introduction:

“Only an embarrassed adolescent or deranged coward thinks jargon and reserved languages are pretentious and that detail and structure are boring”

It is not pretension to use a special vocabulary to distinguish concepts and allow you to talk more precisely about things. Listen to fisherman, farmers, sports fans of any flavour or any interest group really and they have their own special language. That said there are plenty of pretentious folk about too.

Here’s to detail and structure.