Style Over Substance?

The feminists, they are funny. Some can’t read too many capitals in an old-fashioned style. Others hate the IM-style letter dropping.

I sympathize with the latter — we have the idea of proper English so that the most people possible can understand what you’re communicating — but both of these suddenly reminded me of nothing more than the comic fogies complaining they can’t read manga because going backwards makes their heads hurt.

I felt that way, too, until I found a story I got so lost in I couldn’t stop to remember I didn’t like the format. Similarly, ideas are more important than style… although purposefully choosing a style that will get in the way of comprehension seems counter-productive, too.

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3 Responses to “Style Over Substance?”

  1. Paul O'Brien Says:

    They’re right about the first article, though. The author apparently thinks she’s using old-style capitalisation to provide emphasis, but it’s overdone to such an extent that there IS no emphasis. I mean, really: “And further, we are reminded, Again and Again, that some wish Never To Divorce Women From The Processes Of Their Bodies.” That’s not emphasis, that’s shouting – and frankly, my immediate reaction as a reader when confronted with Such A Thing is wonder why the Author is Being So Irritatingly Pretentious. Which Comment I intend, Not As A Personal Insult, but as a Constructive Indication of the Likely Reaction of Many Readers. It isn’t poetic, it isn’t effective, and it’s frankly a bit annoying. So why do it?

  2. Vic Vega Says:

    There’s nothing sadder than a blogger without a sense of humor.

    I’ve read stuff from both the bloggers in question. I enjoy one style, am indifferent to the other, and would hope to God I’d have better things to do with my time than play grammar police in any event.

    Only Usenet alums could get so worked up over nothing. And I say as a preson who still visits that realm.

  3. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Grammar police.
    Heh. Not quite.

    Any editor who has had to pay the bills editing documents with poor punctuation or inconsistent style would be driven crazy by random capitalization or improper capitalization.

    That being said, I choose to ignore writers who fail to understand the way they present their ideas (be it an unreadable font or some misplaced rationalization of strange capitalization) can undercut the strength of their message.

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