The Key to Cyber-Popularity!

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I’m already getting tired of trying to highlight key words by typing them in boldface. It feels like I’m writing a freakin’ comic book. “Hey, Superman! Do you know Lex Luthor is in town?” Feh.

Ah! But I’ve read about studies that show that unless you employ only the simplest words, hardly anyone will want to read you. Or even talk with you. Advance beyond the sixth-grade reading level, and it makes their heads hurt.

Back in high school there was a kid who used to yell at me every time he saw me, “Yah, Mr. Big Words! Big words! Yah!” This went on for several years. I didn’t even know his name. He only stopped when I promised to beat him senseless the next time he did it. One can only take so much.

Well, it seems his attitude has now become part of our dying culture. This is how you have to write, or no one will read you. No more big words.

All this cyber-stuff was supposed to raise us up and make us smarter. Instead, it dumbs us down.

Enough! On behalf of the English language, and all who treasure it, I declare defiance.

Coruscation! Orgulity! Penultimate! Chastisement! Polyglot! Effulgence!

(“Damn the torpedoes–full speed ahead!”)

11 comments on “The Key to Cyber-Popularity!

  1. Good for you. It is a shame these days that so many articles are so poorly written, and even the small and simple words are being misspelled right and left. My main problem is my disobedient and crooked fingers that repeat letters by jumping when I did not tell them to.

  2. Okay, so how do we do boldface in the comments section? It seems that every comment platform has its own codes. I suppose I could try out the few I’ve seen in other comment boxes, but since there’s no edit function here, I’d probably wind up with typographical gibberish. 🙂

    1. I can only do BF on my posts, not in my own comments. I don’t have another platform–not that I know about. I’m also a bit fuzzy about what counts as a key word.

  3. I got kicked out of a club because I used “big words”, when I was a kid. I did amazingly poorly in English classes, but I think that was because it was all old news to me and likely because I spent almost all of my spare time reading books, and I don’t mean the condescending garbage that they feed to children; I read real books, mostly about technical subjects that interested me. From that reading, I learned new words and was forced to extend my capabilities. I did it, because I wanted to learn about these subjects. To this day, I can’t diagram a sentence, but I sure as hell know how to communicate with the written word, probably because I have been swimming in a sea of examples (both good and bad) for over 60 years, and I know what works.

    Our civilization is fizzling out, and the lack of useful education is a big part of it. If Christ returns in my lifetime; great. If not, I’ll go to my grave fearing for those who are younger than I.

    1. In my school, we learned an unconventional way of diagramming that really made sense and gave a more visible sense of how parts of a sentence fit together. As I recall, the system started with an actual sentence (not pieces copied over on different levels) and involved single, double, and triple underlining of subject, verb, and predicate, with various other devices — different shaped brackets for different kinds of phrases, arrows connecting modifiers with the words they modified, forward slashes to show where clauses began and ended, and so on. What we wound up with was a map of a real sentence, not an artificial organization chart that looked like torn-up scraps of paper.

      Many years later I actually used something similar during student conferences to help college students improve their writing. Even the good writers liked the system, because it helped them see graphically what they might have been doing right by instinct — and why some sentences worked better than others.

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