Maybe I’m Just a Freak

I’ve noticed during my time on the web, and that’s at least a decade, that web writing is often viewed differently from “real” writing.

By that I mean, web writing is short-cuts, abbreviations, acronyms, sentence fragments, and incomplete thoughts.

Why is that? Are people just lazy or do they think it’s cute? I can tolerate the occasional “LOL” and “Thx” or what have you in an IM, but why is it so difficult for people to write in complete, proper sentences when they email or blog?

Yes, I know there are the professional bloggers out there who are real writers, I’m not addressing them. I’m addressing the lazy shits who want to be better writers but can’t be bothered with writing better.

Practice makes perfect. If you’re going to write something, and you want to improve in your writing, then take the time to write everything perfectly, or as near perfect as you can.

Email, fine, I’ll let you slide on those, too. But blogs? If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, then you have to take your writing seriously yourself. Bad grammar, bad spelling, netspeak, and acronyms should all be avoided.

I’ve had this “write the best you can every time” philosophy since day one of discovering the Internet. My first foray onto the web was a site called VIP, or Vitual Irish Pub. It was a chat room, one of the best ones at the time, and everyone else spoke in “BRB,” “FWIW,” and other abbreviations and acronyms, whereas I would type in full, complete sentences.

I didn’t do it to show off, or to make anyone feel bad, I did it because then, as now, I believed if you’re going to write something, write it right. Its part of the philosophy of “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

Besides, if you write well, people usually understand you. You use netspeak and there’s a chance some won’t understand.

So next time you’re chatting with friends on IM or tossing off a quick email, try to write right. It isn’t painful to do so and it’ll make you a better writer in the long run.

Improve the web, it’s the least you can do.



3 thoughts on “Maybe I’m Just a Freak

  1. You and I can talk, then. I will use the occasional “lol” or “brb,” but usually it’s because there’s a baby occupying one arm and I can type both of those with one hand.

    (All of this said, I think that the incomprehensible is the epitome of the internet).

    Fortunately, there’s plenty of wonderful material out there which can be read happily, without ever seeing any “lulz”

    For example, I discovered Stephen Fry’s blog just the other day. He blogs very infrequently, but each blog is a massive and detailed article on a particular subject. It’s fun and enjoyable, but you have to sit and concentrate to read through it.

    They say that L.A. is the thirty-minute town: Everything is thirty minutes away, and anything thirty minutes ago is ancient history. Based on my time in L.A., I’d say that’s true.

    I would say that the Internet is the Thirty-second town, alas.

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