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Wall-o-Text And You

July 9, 2010

I frequent a message board and I read some user generated stories online and every now and then I’ll encounter someone who doesn’t fully know what the ‘enter’/’return’ key is used for. You see, long passages of text are bad. Extremely long ones make people’s brains shut down. Especially online where staring at a screen hurts the eyes. I like text, I love typography, I love the English language, and I love reading people’s thoughts put on paper, a web log, a poster, etc. I like these things. I do not like when people abuse the language.

They’ll write paragraphs that never end, sentences without a break, and misspell or use improper grammar. That annoys me. Granted I’m not much of a grammar snob except when it comes to word choices like ‘your and you’re’, ‘there, their, and they’re.’ Rinse repeat. I only pay attention to stuff like that online and it irks my gherkin.

The way I type is exactly how I speak, usually. Unless I’m writing a story I don’t focus too much on verb splices, semi-colons, commas, etc. That stuff doesn’t bother me. Unless, someone, writes, an, entire, sentence, like, this. Fuck is that annoying. But yeah, people…learn to type properly and to use the enter/return key. It’s there for a reason. A paragraph (as I was taught) is 4 to 6 sentences and then break. Okay? Are we clear on this?

How does Twitter factor into this? Okay, well, I used to think Twitter was the most annoying thing ever. Ever! It’s 160 words of you describing your life and what you’re doing. Fine, I don’t think lives can be condensed to 160, but whatever. I’m learning to accept it. Now I think Twitter can have a valuable service: saving people from a goddamn wall of text. See? You’re limited to a sentence therefore you can only write a small bit and then break.

It’s like typing for morons without an enter key. It’s fantastic. Seriously, I’m not a snob. I really am not, I just have no interest in reading a wall of text and nobody else does, either. So, you know that piece you spent something like an hour on and think it was brilliant? It very well might be, but unless you can find a person willing to torture themselves your brilliance will never be shared with anyone.

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