I read over a lot of blogs each week, casually surfing one or two of the blog exchanges I belong.
I realized yesterday that I seldom read the whole entry unless it's very short. Many are quite uncomfortable to read, some downright excruciating, in terms of their grammatical skills, spelling, and style. Because it is such an immediate and off-the-cuff personal expression, do the standard language rules apply?
The conversational nature of a blog leads naturally to an informal, casual approach that can be refreshing and innovative, indirectly echoing some of the great writers of the past who used dialect and local expressions to vitalize their work.
It is unfortunate that so many who write don't understand basic language rules so cannot effectively break them. When it takes major time and effort to understand what on earth the writer is trying to say, rather than being able to appreciate the content and point of view being expressed, it becomes merely an exercise in frustration.
The beauty, and ultimate value of blogging, is that communication is direct, individual, and uncensored. No editor with an eye on public opinion or potential legal consequences is cutting out whole paragraphs in fear they will offend. There is no filter applied by conservative management or the need for committee consensus prior to publication.
However, those of us who publish our thoughts and opinions to the world do have one big responsibility: to our readers. We can, happily, say anything we want but need to clearly communicate our point of view.
Anything less demeans the value of this wonderful new medium and leads to millions of electronic pages that fail to unite us in community, as is our goal, but merely consumes virtual space like the incoherent ramblings of a lonely psychotic.
Virginia Bola is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of an interactive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://drvirginiabola.blogspot.com