Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I show you so much unclear writing – an editorial


To help writers learn to write more clearly, the writing teacher or coach must not only show and analyze examples of clear writing; he must also show and analyze examples of unclear writing.

Showing and analyzing unclear writing is especially important in times of cultural decadence; in such times, many people deliberately choose to be unclear, because it’s trendy.

The writing teacher Quintilian, who taught in Rome during the late first century A.D. (a time as decadent as our own), put it this way:

“Nor is it without advantage, indeed, that inelegant and faulty speeches, yet such as many, from depravity of taste, would admire, should be read before boys [pupils], and that it should be shown how many expressions in them are inappropriate, obscure, tumid, low, mean, affected, or effeminate; expressions which, however, are not only extolled by many readers, but, what is worse, are extolled for the very reason that they are vicious….”

The Takeaway: If you wish to write clearly, you must work diligently to avoid imitating the average man. The average man is too ignorant and stupid to speak or write clearly and too corrupted to try to learn how. He mindlessly imitates the diction of celebrities, many of whom are only semi-literate. To remind myself of these truths, I occasionally glance at a picture of celebutard Paris Hilton (shown above). Ms. Hilton has inspired millions of Americans to debase their speech and themselves.


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2 comments:

  1. "The average man is too ignorant and stupid to write speak or write clearly and too corrupted to try to learn how."

    You didn't mention that he's also proud of it.

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  2. I take pride in my working-class heritage. Through it, I understand the pieces of language needed to create coherent writing. I sift through words and phrases as a stone-mason might sift through stone and rock, choosing the pieces to build a wall. Face-stone stands out from fill, like powerful verbiage stands out from passive voice. In the end the craft creates the beauty.

    Artists and scientists designed the cathedrals, but craftsmen laid the stone. Employ ad hominem attack against the proletariat at great peril.

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