In the (hilarious! must watch!) sitcom, ‘Community’ (perfect to inhale a season in a single Sunday), one of the characters gets accused of cheating when crib notes are found and the little circles she uses to dot her i‘s are the distinguishing trademark that points the finger at her. Being Community and not CSI, they didn’t call in a graphologist to analyse the script, font, pressure, content, copy (still not sure why copy is called copy when mostly it’s supposed to be original?) and it still ended all smiles, laughs and happiness.
Made me think about “dotting one’s i’s” in the proverbial sense. I stopped literally dotting my i‘s in my early teen years. Seemed like a wasted nanosecond to stab the page when, if correctly scribed, the letter was perfectly recognisable on its own. Clearly, I was never the type to embrace the curly hooded a, elaborate g and y tails, Pacman-looking e or who’d finish the word and then retrospectively have to go backwards to dot and cross, as one would do in cursive. Instead, my script represented my preference for the quickest and most practical output.
The proverbial, as always, is not as simple. Is dotting the i really about tying up all the loose ends? How much i-dotting is enough? Can there be too much? Am I the i? And is there such a thing as getting one’s t’s cross(ed)?! Maybe the broader answer lies not in the way things are written down, but from the clues intrinsically in the words present themselves in. Putting the i into words I want to write, like happiness, smiles, patience, choice and communication (a two-way street so it needs 2 i‘s). Keeping away from t words like past, temper, tantrum, teary, tacky.
I also managed to squeeze in a half season of Gossip Girl (on Saturday), where the sins and tales of betrayals always seem to be pegged on trysts. Ex-oh ex-oh. Yup, ex uh-oh. No good ever comes from lots words with ‘her’: either, neither, slither, wither, dither, disher, fisher, poacher, encroacher, another, the other, why bother?! Complicated and emotional scenarios where the secrets and lies could have been eased by making the illicit (with 3 i‘s, definitely a crowd) explicit (although still 2 i’s and an ex, so still not easy). Expelling the ex as excess and putting the u in truth and trust. It’s a case of needing u and i to build a bridge and communicate; deciding whether you’re wanting to put the ‘am’ into drama or family.
But that’s all best-not-dwelt-in TV melodrama and I’m glad I’m pencilling my future and not penning my past. I think the answer to a question I was innocuously asked yesterday is that I’d rather be a ‘never was’ than a ‘has been’ because in my world, dotting my I is not a ‘make the circle bigger’ affair. I’m not just jotting down copy in a cheap attempt to put my am into famous, but am working at creating stories that are quality and lasting content. I’d like to think that there are bigger and better things to come all round.