The highlight of my writing career came very early in life when I won second prize in a poetry competition at school. I must have been about eight or nine at the time. Spurred on by this success I later attempted to write a rather long story about pirates which included copious illustrations. The most remarkable thing about this story as I discovered years later was that there was not one comma, semi comma, colon or full stop to be found throughout its entirety. However unlike James Joyce’s famous passage in Ulysses I fell back on a more prosaic device, the word ‘and’. In fact the number of ‘ands’ used in the narrative beggared belief. It was no small wonder that at the end of the literally epic my teacher’s only comment was to implore me to consider using punctuation.
Needless to say punctuation and other forms of English grammar and spelling were at this time a complete mystery to me. It had been a Herculean adventure just learning the English language. It was some ten years later that I came to the belated realization that I was wondrously blessed with dyslexia. This was to explain my amazing ability to create Malapropism’s and Spoonerism’s with such gentle ease. Spelling proved on many occasions to be an exercise in futility to the point of spelling some words backwards, while not finishing words off was an art form that I have yet still to fully master. I took to carrying a dictionary with me for a good number of years to help with the spelling deficiency and endeavoured to slow the thought processes so that I could catch up with myself when writing. Mispronunciation has however stayed with me as a dogged companion. It has given subsequently given me the ability to murder other languages with gay abandonment and humour. It is somewhat ironic that I had always wished to express myself creatively in this medium.
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