Friday, September 3, 2010

Well, this basically sums up my writing mentality...

I saw this via Frank Chimero via someone else on Twitter. I just read a few of his posts today and am already quite enjoying what he enjoys. And how he writes about what we both seem to enjoy.

Anyway, there was a link from a completely unrelated post of his (which contained someone else's description of a meal at el Buli, I don't even know what the post was about, I was completely beside-myself distracted by that description...
But I digress! Whyyyyy is the internet so convoluted? If you already struggle with tendencies that could be alarmingly similar to ADD, it's quite difficult to finish even one article or post (or, ahem, action item) without falling into a rabbit hole of other fascinating information.)

Here's the link that I liked. This is how I write, and I had been feeling sort of like a lazy grammar slouch for not caring more about keeping up on that stuff. But now someone on the internet has vindicated me. Post below:

‘That’s not what I was taught at school’ are words we hear a lot. We’re always using our unrules to undo the things people were taught to do (and not to do) in the classroom. It’s strange, writing at primary school is all about stories, being creative and enjoying what you write. By the time you get to GCSEs you're clinically unpicking why a poem works instead of saying why you like it (and you're living in fear of red pen). Writing at school should get your brain buzzing, not be a chore. So things are changing starting here.

Five Unrules:

5. Write short or ‘fragmented’ sentences. Ignore Microsoft Word’s green squiggly line. A sentence can have seven words. Or two. It’s up to you. Play with the length of your sentences to add pace and rhythm to your words.

4. Split infinitives. They can be clunky but they’re not grammatically incorrect.

3. Use contractions (eg that’s instead of that is). They’re a good way to make your writing sound more personal.

2. Don’t sign off letters with ‘Yours Sincerely if you know the person you’re writing to or ‘Yours Faithfully’ if you don’t. ‘Yours Sincerely?’ It’s 2010. You don’t need to use stuffy formality like this anymore (or start letters with ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Sir / Madam’ for that matter).

1. And you can start a sentence with ‘and’ or ‘but’. We just did.

And a bonus rule from Kurt Vonnegut:

‘Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.’

I totally agree that you should write how you speak. That is, if people find you funny or interesting in the least. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

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