RE: Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"]

Subject: RE: Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"]
From: "Anameier, Christine A - Eagan, MN" <christine -dot- a -dot- anameier -at- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 11:19:30 -0600

Dick made several good points, including:
> A few words--and whom is certainly one of them--are frequently
> tossed in, completely inappropriately and with the opposite effect
> to that intended, to make the speaker sound smarter. So
> when they _are_ used correctly, people get all hinky on you.

Interesting point. It's as if by using the word, you're showing off your
education, thereby making other people feel inferior. (I could grumble
about the anti-intellectual strain in American culture, but that
wouldn't alter the fact that alienating our readers just isn't a good

> But my point is that diction and style are characteristics of language
> we as writers need to be aware of and need to have control over
> whenever we put fingers to keyboard, always tuning what we are
> doing to the effect we are trying to convey.

Absolutely right. I can imagine people dismissing this as the
English-major version of font-fondling, but this stuff matters. More
than once I've seen a user's question answered with "As stated in [name
and date of document], . . . " -- in other words, "hey, look it up next
time instead of bothering us with a question we've already answered!"
Ouch. Benign-looking words, but in context they're a rebuke.

In grad school, I once wrote a note to a professor to protest what I
felt was an unfair grade. I was angry, but I thought I managed to be
civil in my note. Luckily I ran it by a friend, a different professor
who had a brilliant grasp of how we use language. He pointed out about a
dozen different places in that short note where I was basically whacking
the guy upside the head. It was an eye-opening experience. I threw the
note away.



Previous by Author: Re: Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"]
Next by Author: RE: Saying "RTFM" out loud (was Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" ...
Previous by Thread: Re: Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"]
Next by Thread: Re: Everyday [was: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"]

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads