An Open letter to the Bracknell Blogger Darren Bridgman.

Posted 10 Oct 2010 by Walaa Idris

Hi Darren,

I was surprised to read this morning that today’s blogpost will be your last, and although you will stay on Twitter, it saddened me to learn of the premature end of the Bracknell Blogger – specially as only recently the blog, your writing and your clever choice of topics has made it to the Top 300 political blogs and the Top 75 LibDem blogs on the Total Politics Blog Awards 2010 – the Bible of UK Political Blogging.

It shocked me to learn the reasons for you quitting – yes quitting, because that is the best and only way I can explain it. Maybe harsh but it is untypical of you.

I have spend my school years being told English is my down fall, I had bad grammar, could not spell to save my life, and still struggle with both. It still takes me longer than the average person to write a 500 word passage. A few weeks ago I sent my CV to a friend and asked him to help me pass it around – he emailed me back to say “your English is dreadful….” – the CV was full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes – granted it was three years old – but still, it was awful and humiliating.

His words twinged a little, but what hurt me most, was the half dozen CVs I sent to other friends who said nothing and the employers who I will never hear from.

Knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem is half the solution of any challenge.

The other half is finding and devising ways to over come the problem, and even here you are half way – because you enjoy writing and interacting with the written word – so technically you have a small aspect to manage and control.

My advice, as someone who knows how you feel, because I felt embarrassed whenever I misspelled words and made such obvious mistakes, but I found although some who correct me do it for their own self satisfaction, most truly care and just want to help me. Even though I continue to correct and pay extra attention to every word I type, still, I make many mistakes. Somehow I feel like the Ambassador of all the poor English speakers and writers and as such feel it is my duty to ask you to reconsider – so please rethink your decision.

In closing I would like to leave you with a few tips that helped me thus far. Asking a friend to act as your editor in long and important pieces – it can be time consuming but we both know two heads are always better (the Coalition is a great example). Persevere and devise a way to remember which word to use when – for example, ‘there’ is like ‘where’ therefore it’s a place so the other one (their) is for people. As for commas, I read all my sentences out loud and put commas whenever I need to breathe, or want to stress a point, and if the sentence feels longwinded then just end it. But most of all READ, read everything that falls in your hands and make time to daily read – I sometimes have 2-3 books on the go – words are visual images and sink in by repetition – plus reading is great for your vocabulary.

Darren, you are too young and good to give up now, time is on your side, use this hurdle to come out on top, just think how many young boys and girls in your same situation today, who when they hear about your struggle and triumph will be encouraged and empowered by your journey.

Kindest regards,

Walaa x

3 comment(s)

Richard B

Richard B
10 Oct, 23:30

Well said.

Tony Lloyd

Tony Lloyd
11 Oct, 12:19

“(W)hat hurt me most, was the half dozen CVs I sent to other friends who said nothing and the employers who I will never hear from.”

Partly, that is a result of not wishing to come across as a pedant and, partly, not having confidence in one’s own ability at English. That latter problem is, in turn, partly due to the attitude on the part of some that one should be perfect before criticising. It would be better if all of us spelling and grammtically challenged people got together to correct our own English. In the spirit of that: you have a typo in the third paragraph. It should be “save my life” not “safe my life”.


11 Oct, 12:39

Thank you Richard & Tony!

And an extra thanks Tony, for the correction (which now corrected) – but I think as a self appointed Ambassador of spelling and grammatically challenged folks – I am aloud one mistake (either or) per 100 words ;-))

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