I am amazed when reading some of the missives written today. Sometimes, I think English teachers have failed all of America, but then again, maybe not. Maybe the electronic devices we use today have warped our brains, keeping us from using logic and discipline to write well.
For whatever reason, we as a society have decided not to write correctly or well. There seems to be a battle raging between the old and the new; those from the old school, who like words and books and writing, cringe at the way the younger writers take short cuts with “text language,” u no, shrtcts 4 all to c ezely.
The problem with the “texters” is one thing, but the laziness of other writers is something else altogether. They scribble notes, type them out fast, email before proofing. They do this as if they have no pride in their writing.
If a person is not a writer, I can understand this behavior. However, I have seen some terrible writing foisted on readers by essayists who are supposed to be professional writers. Maybe they are not as professional as they may think. Maybe they are just lazy when they are writing anything other than their latest professional project.
This is what I do not understand; if a person makes his or her living as a wordsmith, are they not just a little embarrassed to release paragraphs that fail to pass muster? I can understand some writing will be weaker and some will be stronger, from the same writer. What I have problems with is understanding the writer who just sends a letter or email out without proofreading the document once.
This is particularly true if the letter or email is a document that is supposed to sell the author as a writer, such as in a query letter. For writers, and this is important, anything sent to an editor or publisher should reflect the writer’s highest writing skills. The writer’s work should pass all the time, with each letter, note, or email.
All it takes is a little discipline and reading through the document once, before the author releases it to the mail or into cyberspace.
© 2011 J. Clark