In the age of digital media, things have never been so easy to write and share. Your mom might write a thing. Your boss may have written things. Even your slow-witted sibling, upon making a life decision, may decide to write a thing. And once a thing has been written, a thing needs to be shared. And so, I wrote a thing, one says. But why does that seem out of place?
The reason is that text on a screen is not so much a thing as almost a thing. To understand “so I wrote a thing,” one needs to look at the first time in history this occurred. When Moses and the Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai, Moses ascended the mountain whereupon God said, “אז אני מגולף פריט,” which roughly translates to “Then I carved an item.”((Google translate: http://goo.gl/V2PGYz)) Was God looking for some humble approval from Moses? Did He lack confidence in His commandments? Counter to popular belief in academic circles ((Dr. Ian Bogost has written an extensive phrase on this topic. Please see this thing he wrote: http://bogost.com/writing/blog/a-writers-glossary/.)) the phrase did not mean God lacked self-assurance. He is God after all. Instead, like the Commandments, the phrase was also a notice: Then I carved an item [and it was good]. Years of poor translation led Internet users to misappropriate a powerful phrase and turn it into a flimsy shield against criticism.((So, the Toast wrote this thing: http://the-toast.net/2014/10/20/internet-glossary/.))
Turning back to digital media and the ease of writing a thing, how long would it take you to carve a stone tablet? How about etching a cuneiform tablet? If that seems too archaic for you, then what about writing your thoughts on parchment and showing the single copy you created to your friends? It took time and effort to carve an item. One didn’t merely write things and shrug one’s shoulders. One created an object and stood behind it. Sometimes, literally. Now though, things can be written with no thought at all. And, so, I wrote a thing.((Perfect example of this thing I wrote: http://wp.me/p5fD3K-1o.))