Language In My Essays

A meta-essay about my essays.

The English language is a rich one. There are glorious words in it, words to convey precise meaning, words to be vague, words to make an impact or glide quietly by. The language is ever growing and changing and adopting new words, which is what makes it such a powerful language.

I use as many of these words as I can. I will not intentionally dumb down my writing because some people find longer words intimidating. I was given no end of grief growing up because I did use more powerful words than "cool", "gross", and "awesome". (I was given no end of grief for many things, but I digress.)

Sometimes the words that I choose to make a particular point, or set a particular tone, come under the heading of profanity. I believe that profane words have a proper use, which is not every other word that one types or speaks. When you overuse such words, just as when you overuse any other word, they lose their power. But if you ignore that they exist, you imbue them with excess power. So I use them when and where I feel appropriate, and if you are offended by the mere mention of such words, you probably just shouldn't read my writings.

These essays were, for the most part, originally written to be read on the net. Therefore, I have used the looser grammar and structure that makes text readable and enjoyable on the web. Web grammar is very closely related to hardcopy grammar, with a good dollop of the structure of poetry thrown in. Paragraphs tend to be shorter; lists abound. It makes for nice looking text on the screen, and text that looks nice is more apt to be read.

(Mr. Mazza, if you're reading this, I really haven't forgotten The Elements of Style, but those huge long paragraphs just don't play well on a web page or in a newsgroup posting.)

(And if you are reading this, please send me email and tell me what you think.)

As I said on my HTML philosophy page, my goal is to convey information to those who read it, and if it means restructuring things a little, well, you have to do what you have to do.

If you want to know why these pages are so plain, please see my philosophy on web pages and html.

This HTML was proudly generated by pure human power and is multibrowser enhanced (so go pick your favorite).