Re: "It Ain't Literature, Y'know" (#656283)

Subject: Re: "It Ain't Literature, Y'know" (#656283)
From: Kate Marventano <Kate_Marventano -at- ZD -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 07:48:09 -0400

He said, "we ain't writing
> literature, you know." He said that he had given the matter a great
> deal of thought and decided that this was the best way to handle the
> situation. He said that if he wrote,

> Pound the nail into the wall with a hammer.

> someone might use their head to pound the nail with rather than read
> to the end of the sentence. Instead, he prefers to write:

> Using a hammer, pound the nail into the wall.
> or
> Using columnar spacers, place the ....

> Whether his sentence structure is correct or not, is one issue. For
> me, the more important point was his statement, "this ain't
> literature, you know." Its not the first time he's said it either.

It seems to me that you're both right. Consider the audience. Are you writing
to beginners? Sometimes you have to push beginners a little more than you
would someone who has been hammering nails into walls for a lifetime.

Of course the main point here is to get the nail into that wall, but I don't
think your partner is under estimating people by thinking that they might not
read further than that.

If he says things like "this ain't literature, you know", and has said it more
than once, l would stop critiquing his work, regardless of whether you feel you
two have that relationship or not. Wait until he asks you. At the very worst,
the editors will catch it, and consult him about it. It sounds like he thinks
you are trying to one up him. It's better to stay out of what he writes.
Besides, he got the job on his own merit and writing skills, too.


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