Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chapter Four: Just Because It's The Internet Doesn't Mean You Can Slack Off

Killian's fourth Chapter in Writing for the Web is the chapter in which he finally gets to the actual writing bits. He doesn't say much, unless you count the weird rant about only using Anglo-Saxon words right after he talks about how good it is that English has absorbed so many words from other languages, along with some standard writing advice you'll find in any composition or writing book. He also mentions not using lengthy compound sentences since, you know, the Internet has made us all massively dumber and we can't handle the big words, anymore.

Sure, you can make a whole page of short sentences and little words, but this isn't Twitter. Tell me something or I'm leaving. Elaborate a little. Short sentences can be cool, but a whole page of little snippets and fragments gets old fast.

And for crying out loud, stop slacking off just because it's the Internet! Capitalize your words. Form sentences. Use punctuation. Have a thought or viewpoint of your own instead of just regurgitating something you read or arguing every point against it just for the sake of being argumentative.

My advice: grab a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk & White if you need a quick, helpful writing guide, or dig out whatever comp book you had to buy as a freshman. This chapter is okay, but there are such better guides out there.


  1. I agree with you on this. I would also like to second the suggestion of grabbing a copy of The Elements of Style. It's dry, but it's filled with great information.

    1. One of my favorite quotes from that book:

      "Just because it's in the dictionary doesn't mean you have to use it."