Thursday, 28 October 2010

No Tener Pelos en la Lengua

I've been a bad NaBloWriMo blogger again *ducks head sheepishly*. Moving on.

For two years now I've been studying Spanish as an elective to my degree. We've only just reached the point where we have covered all the conjugations and sentence structures. A few days ago we learnt a few sayings and this one made us all laugh, but I think it has great relevance to writing, and it will be a little mantra of mine from now on. 

No tener pelos en la lengua is translated by the text book as meaning 'to be outspoken, to be frank'. Literally it means 'to not have hairs in one's language'*. Hairy language, eh?

While we were chuckling about this, I thought it was a good way to think about one's prose or poetry, and in choosing the best words, paring back the language. This is something that John Steinbeck first taught me when I discovered Of Mice and Men in year 11. He's still one of my favourite authors. Then this year I took a poetry class and learnt it again. Then last week, Sarah at The Unwrapping reminded me of it again (go read her blog, it's beautiful). Aqui es una escritora si no tiene pelos en la lengua. (Sorry if the grammar is incorrect).

And of course, I submitted the first draft of my CP for assessment (I got 100%). One of the things my supervisor told me to do when editing is to 'tighten the language'. Get rid of all the hairs. So that is my mission over the next two days. Take my draft and turn it into something concise and sin pelos

On another matter, I was reading another Sarah's blog. Her latest post is on something I posted about in the first week of NaBloWriMo, body image. The post touched me, and I was so glad to see someone else speaking about the many intricacies of coming to love one's own body.
Once again, this is a website, and organisation, that is doing wonders for so many people in regards to self-love: 

*Something I've yet to master, however.


  1. thanks for the link, astrid! i love that image of "hairy writing" -- poetry is certainly something that has helped teach me how to pluck my writing clean. i loved working with the haiku and drabble forms because when you are forced to pare down your word count, you have to let go of the wordiness.

    congrats on the 100% score on your assignment! :)