Good writing is being murdered as we speak.
Powerful writing is facing extinction.
To write means you have something to say. Something to explore. An observation to share. A challenge to overcome. A position. An experience worth relating. Something to communicate.
But there are Murderers of Language out there. People who are out to destroy good writing. People are stalking writers, waiting for them to make a, God forbid, generalization. They are following writers around holding up their Politically Correct Protest Signs, ready to pounce on any actual opinion, experience, direct statement or observation.
This is fostering an atmosphere of weak, apologetic, whiney, non-committal prose. This subversive behavior is resulting in wordy, wishy-washy, unreadable trash. Women, especially, seem prone to apologizing for their views, observations, stances and opinions with a bunch of craptastic, ugly prefaces, exceptions and apologies.
I’ll write a post that essentially relates, “Here’s how divorce has turned out for me. Here’s how I’m feeling about it.”
Then I get comments like, “it’s really irresponsible for you to suggest all divorces are like this. Not all divorces turn out like this.”
“No shit, dummy,” is how I feel like responding, but instead I write something less aggressive like, “of course all divorces are not like this, but that doesn’t negate the validity of my personal experience.” But, usually I just roll my eyes and ignore the person who feels it necessary to point out the blatantly obvious.
Of course, Politically Correct Patty has to chime in, “You can’t make blanket statements like that! That’s not how it is in all marriages!”
Actually, Patty, I just did make such a statement, so in fact I can. Do you understand what observation and trend mean? I want to respond. But, I don’t, in the interest of civility and not getting wrapped up in other people’s need to run around the internet slaughtering direct statements and hacking away at strong writing.
Negative Nelly comments do nothing to encourage discourse, rather they put an abrupt halt to it. Resulting instead in a dreary bantering about semantics. Boring.
The impact of the Word Haters is that writers are simply producing garbage. They do this by making wishy-washy, indirect, inauthentic, guarded statements. They have become so afraid of the Communication Monitors, that they appear to be unable to say something and own it.
They end up writing unreadable, trite essays, columns, blogs and books that sound a bit like this, I think, but I’m not sure, that one of the things that maybe could be a problem, though I know this is not true for everyone, and there are always exceptions, is that men are not doing as much housework or childcare as women even though women are working. This of course, is only true in some cases, because I’m sure a lot of men are wonderful fathers and participate in housework, and I’m not even sure of the statistic, so it might not be true. But, I have a lot of friends who say it’s kind of true. Don’t hate me for thinking this, or for saying this, because you’re probably right anyway if you disagree.
This is shit writing. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Word Craft Assassins: knock it off. You’re murdering the art of writing. It’s a slow death, like smoking or crack addiction, but it’s pervasive and it’s poisoning the art of prose. Writers know that there are exceptions to every rule, to every statement. There are always other ways to see something, other perspectives. When you read a piece, just assume that the writer is aware of this and in the interest of brevity and art, they have chosen not to mention every exclusion, exception or perspective.
Wishy-Washy Wordsmithies: Ignore the Inclusionist Mafia and write well. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Take the risk of putting it out there. It is not your responsibility to include every perspective of the 1 trillion people in this country in your essay about washing dishes or voting for school uniforms. It is not your responsibility to prevent offending people who are obviously trolling the Universe looking for things to take offense at. If you need to make a retraction because you changed your mind, or had a new perspective, do so without shame or guilt.
Give Good Word!
Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to be a representation of all readers or commenters of blogs. Nor does my description of writers represent an accurate description of every single writer who has ever picked up a pen or typed up a blog, book, column, essay or manuscript. These statements represent only one opinion, of which you may or may not agree with, at your discretion. This article in no way prohibits you from reading word garbage or writing wishy-washy trash. The writer is aware that there are exceptional examples of prize-worthy and readable, engaging writing out there. The writer also acknowledges that there are a great many women who are powerful writers and use direct language regularly and artfully.