?!*&

I think I’m becoming horribly critical, which is not a nice thing to think about oneself. Or perhaps more intelligent. Yes, I think that must be it.

A few nights ago, I went to an event with a fairly feeble speaker. I won’t tell you where, what, when or which sex (English could do with a neutral pronoun; I could only resort to the slightly awkward ‘they’ or the completely irritating ‘he/she’*). There was muddle, bad logic and general steam-coming-out-of-my-ears-ness but that’s not what I want to write about. I’ll just say “?!*&$#~/”. No, what interested me is that I seem to be developing a confidence in my critical faculties. A few years ago, I’d’ve known there was something wrong but doubtful why and certainly hesitant to say how. Now, unconsciously, I’ve developed an ability to question and criticise, absorbed from the environment I’ve luckily found myself in.

Yes, I think that must be it.

*English could also do with a new orthographic mark to indicate ‘this isn’t really part of the argument, merely me dribbling on for a bit; serious-minded readers might want to jump straight to the other side of the closing parenthesis’. We all have our favourite punctuation; I easily drift into being parenthetical (although I also scatter semi-colons liberally). Likewise, I have a friend who’s a great dasher – editors emerge from his work prickled all over like porcupines!

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