Poetry is code

WordPress’ tagline preaches, “Code is poetry.” Therefore, poetry is code.

Writers need to take written language as seriously as a programmer takes code. English (and any other language, written or otherwise) is a programming language. It encodes meaning. Language has rules of syntax, grammar and logic; then there are matters of style. All are features of programming as well.

A poorly formed expression won’t function, whether it’s PHP or English. An errant comma or misspelled word can destroy a well intentioned sentence. Trouble is, most readers already know how to debug on the fly: we can instantly turn “their” into “there” if the conditions are right. A proofreader must turn off this feature and compile meaning word by word, clause by clause.

Learning to code, and observing good code, has deepened my appreciation for writing well and reading good writing.

Write on.

Focus on the task at hand

Keeping a sharp mental focus is a difficult task in the connected world; but perhaps it always has been.

Right now I should be doing homework, but I must first strongly resist the urge to start coding up a fix to one of my web projects or dabbling in some new trick. I like that code can be like poetry. It gives expression to ideas; nothing deep or dramatic, but simple, clear ideas that help the communication process.

Weird that my principal distraction isn’t music, games or movies, but code.