Writing is and essential part of communication in our society. Soon after children are taught the letters that make up our English language, they are taught the basics of formatting them into effective writing. On the job, usually no matter what it is we usually can’t escape the written application, and we almost always find ourselves in a position which warrants the use of food communication skills. Among theses common forms of writing, others are integrated within the daily lives of people around the world. Some people choose to keep journals as a permanent hardcopy of their existence, and others like to write professionally. No matter what the occasion, there are always a few basics that can make your writing better understood, and more openly accepted.
In this essay I will explore some of the various writings that I have done, and compare and contrast them to some of the more formal writing laws that have been bestowed upon the craft. The coy bought the bat. Such a simple sentence that I have written so many times in the past in my more youthful days. Sentences like this at the time seem like redundant practice exercises, and they are. But when we grow up (literally speaking) and face the real world, we come to appreciate the process greatly. In that sentence we have all the basics or written communication, and then some. Amongst the noun and subject and so on, you find alliteration for example. Alliteration, when used correctly can be a powerful way to enhance your writing, and make it seem more sophisticated. And that’s what everyone wants to do right, come off as intelligently as possible.
Let’s explore that in a little more depth. When I am writing on an assignment, or some other formal; type of writing, the style is usually much different. For example I don’t try to use fancy techniques and a whole lot of jargon to sound good, I just write. On the flip side, I don’t like using poor language and slang terms in formal writing. It just seems to be more appropriate the way that I do it. But, there is a limit. For instance, the more technical terms and jargon that you insert the more people that you exclude and possibly turn off from your work. Most likely if you are looking in a dictionary or a thesaurus all of the time, other people will have to do the same, and most would rather not go through the trouble. Sated very simply, “Clutter is the disease of American writing.” Says William Zinsser (quoted in The Borzoi College Reader 7th edition). This writer believes such is true because this type of language can become to thick for the average person at times.
So what is a writer to do. I am always pulled in both directions when I am writing for a formal application. I do have a large vocabulary, but in daily talking, I rarely use it. I also think that I know a lot about writing and tips to make my writing better. So if I know all of this already, then why should I be ashamed to use it? Because some people may not be ready for it. Some people may not want to sift through all of it to find the meaning. Well, one of the most confusing paradoxes is the fact that we learn this stuff in school. At least I did. All of the stuff that I know I learned in school, all but the ideas. I learned haw to vary my sentence structure to keep from becoming repetitive and stale and other tools like that. So it seems that after all of that learning and practicing, why should we put it all to waste? I think I am smart and I like coming off that way. Bottom line.
When I seek reassurance by looking to other writers who seem to enjoy raising their own levels of writing, I find myself at another tough spot. For instance writers like Josephine Miles, in my opinion just does too much. She writes in a way that not only turns me off to her writing, but to her as a person. Her anal retentive style is so abrasive to my style of reading, that I would rather not even pick up a piece by her at all. So what’s the scenario so far. Don’t write at too low of a level, and don’t write at too high of one either. Sometimes to seek what you are trying to find, you need to look elsewhere, or maybe just let it come to you. A few years ago a teacher to came to me with information about the speech and debate team, because they were impressed with my ability to give versatile, interactive, and sophisticated speeches.. The definition that I am using for sophisticated right now means sophisticated for the audience the speech was being given to. Anyhow, I joined the team, to my surprise I loved it. It was one of the greatest experiences that I had ever had. I was being praised for challenging myself to basically argue with nerds on topics that for the most part, had no effect on me. I soon learned that my word choice would have to improve, as well as sentence structure due to the nature of the sport. You have to be quick in what you say, but you also need to impress and leave a lasting impression. Soon I was being judged the number two and three speaker in congress, and the number one in team debates.
All of those speeches that I had written came in handy because not only could I use pieces of them for other classes, I could learn from them. I finally figured out what the key to communication was. You should use Harvard vocabulary when speaking to Harvard students. You should use baby language when talking to babies. And for everything else, find a happy medium. That’s right, my search for an answer was through. After years of conflicting viewpoints about the subject, the answer was so simple. Use audience appropriate language. I absolutely have no qualms about using large words when writing essays for my English class because I have given the same full faith and credit to the instructor that the school has. Undoubtedly he likes to learn, and already has more knowledge, and a larger vocabulary that I. Take the word qualms for an example. That is not a common word at all, but I know that word and therefore I own it. I can distinctly remember learning it form my fifth grade teacher Mr. Wong. He always used to say that, and I just flat out asked him what it meant. So I feel that if the audience is capable of processing the information, and I can competently put it into a worthwhile message, I have the obligation to do so.
And there it is. That is the journey that I have made to understand how better to communicate. I don’t have to be embarrassed to write technically when appropriate, nor do I have to feel ashamed to write at a level lower than my best when appropriate. Then why am I in school still? Because if you have not already noticed, it’s the life experiences that you yourself see and others tell that expand your writing capabilities. And it’s not the systems fault for confusing because it is only trying to give us more choices so we can touch more people.