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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: Effect, Affect Everybody's a Critic
By Ed VanDeMark


Effect, Affect Everybody’s a Critic

“You’re the writer, you make the grocery list.”

“A grocery list isn’t writing.”

“If it involves using a pencil it’s writing and you’re the writer in this family. You do the grocery list.”

“How come the cleaning lady doesn’t do windows?”


“That’s passive voice.”

“It’s poetry.”

“That doesn’t make it right.”

“Then it’s a rap lyric.”

“Change that it’s a lie.”

“It’s fiction.”

“The word is spelled s.u.c.c.e.s.s not s.u.c.k.c.e.s.s.”

“It’s a new word.”

“Then what’s it mean?”

“Pretty much the same thing s.u.c.c.e.s.s means.”

“Ain’t isn’t a word.”

“Zymurgy is a word.”

“So what’s your point?”

“I can use ain’t in a meaningful sentence, can you use zymurgy to communicate an idea?”

“You can’t call my client a lubejack and get away with it. We’ll sue you.”

“How do you plan to do that? Lubejack isn’t in the dictionary. It’s not even a real word.”

“It’s either big or it’s huge. You should never say it’s very big.”

“Then what do I say if it’s bigger than big but smaller than huge?”

“You can’t use that word in a sermon.”

“How come you insisted I add it to the letter I wrote to the electric company?”

“Your son called me a bad name.”

“Son you don’t need to be specific. Next time refer to him as a body part.”

“That’s not politically correct.”

“If you ask me neither is abortion or euthanasia.”

“The phrase “In order to” is proper English.”

“How come you told me that, “that” is frequently a useless word?”

“Because it is”

“I agree and “to” doesn’t need “in order” to accompany it to the powder room.”

“Professional writers publish.”

“Do you mean that professional writers send their work out to publishers?”


“I graduated from high school 48 years ago.”

“I’m not catching your drift.”

“Frustrated English Teachers drive cement trucks.”

“And your point is?”

“My file cabinet never complains about my writing.”

I’m a writer. I’m a Christian. I’m not always a good writer. I’m not always a good little Christian boy.

My first drafts are usually rough drafts. My initial thoughts are frequently as rough as my rough drafts and my initial language isn’t always sweet. I know polished writing requires numerous re-writes. Refining ideas and language is likewise a process.


White bread isn’t healthy food. Sometimes we refine the quality out of a product. The beautiful gold crosses that adorn modern women’s necklines fail to capture the reality of the crucifixion.

Luke records the words of badly beaten and dying Jesus “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he said this he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46) NIV

Sometimes means sometimes. The mark of a true writer, the mark of a true Christian is knowing when to say “It’s finished.”

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 746 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Delores Baber01/18/07
I enjoyed this piece. However, I felt like a ping-pong ball bounching around inside your thoughts. I think I need a drink. One that has improved by the powerful process of zymurgy. ;)
Leigh MacKelvey01/19/07
I did not care about being bounced like a ping pong ball! I loved it. This was so true and I say THAT with a grin.
terri tiffany01/19/07
I love your use of humor but mostly I love your ending! It sums it all up perfectly!
Betty Castleberry01/19/07
I like this. It's unique and fun to read as well.
cindy yarger01/20/07
An enjoyable read with a great point. Well done!
Edy T Johnson 01/20/07
This was such chuckling fun to read (you should earn "huge" points for creativity, for sure!). My favorite line:
"Sometimes we refine the quality out of a product." I so agree.
william price01/20/07
Very unique and humorous. Enjoyed the read. God bless.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/21/07
The great Philosopher of modern times has spoken - and I have listened and learned. Some very wise and knowledgable statements here, which are worth re-reading. Thanks. The last statement about Christ and "It is Finished" touched me. Different, but ON TOPIC, and a fun and wise read.
Sharlyn Guthrie01/22/07
An "A" for affect...or was that effect? Anyway, I enjoyed this in a very big way!
Julie Arduini01/24/07
How fun was this ride! So enjoyable.