Write some basic things about yourself.
My name is Stuart. This was a very popular name – in 1850! Back when everyone wished for the even better good ole’ days of the 1650s. You know? Back when the Stewarts were monarchs. My name is spelt differently from the Stewart from which it derives because Stuart is the French-based spelling. This is both infuriating and the source of all of my pent-up angst. As I am British, I am predisposed to disliking everything French. Stuart means “Steward” (of a property), which is appropriate as I’ve only ever rented a home.
I have a number of peculiar but obsessive interests. If I start talking to you about the minutiae of air traffic control or radio and television imaging (that means jingles), RUN like hell and never look back. In my defence, I used to co-run an internet based radio station.
I like comedy. I will argue through the medium of logic about whether or not something is funny. Afterwards, nothing will ever be funny again and one or both of us will be weeping.
I like to write but often lack the confidence or inspiration. I then start to dislike myself and won’t write anything. This makes me dislike myself further, and I will write less still. It’s like a chubby person eating doughnuts due to self-loathing, except in reverse and there are no doughnuts.
I like words. I like to rearrange sentences in an unusual way or to say slightly odd things, probably because of the kind of twisted comedy I have been exposed to. I also like the feel or sound of some words as they form in my mouth. Such words should be a few syllables long so that it is possible to enjoy the sensation of speaking them, but not unnecessarily long. One of my favourite words is tintinnabulation (the sound of a bell ringing after the initial strike – the sound that remains). Salubrious, voluptuary, surreptitious, and convoluted are all words I like the feel of.
Addendum: I would like to read aloud. For an audience or recording. But I am afraid that I am not northern enough to sound jolly and humourous and not posh enough to sound authoritative. I am somewhere in the middle. A compromise of both halves.
I can’t speak Welsh, but I have learned by rote how to correctly pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, one of the longest place names in the world. English speakers usually call it Llanfair P.G.
I would read dozens of adventure books as a child. Stuff like The Famous Five and anything by Roald Dahl. Around my early teens, I stopped reading entirely because I was made to read stuff I didn’t like at school. It wasn’t until my 20s, when my wife would thrust material at me, that I started to read again. I am ashamed of once saying “I don’t see why I should have to pay money for a list of words arranged in a particular order”. I am now into the sixth year of working in a bookstore.
I am a stickler for grammar and sensible, plain-English sentence construction. I am not perfect at it and my spelling is not the greatest. But I am above average and I will laud it over people.
The last two facts make me a hypocrite at best, and detestable at worst.