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Elliot on writing casually

Here are some things Elliot has written about writing casually.

Elliot Temple, "Ayn Rand Sez 'Sez'", Objectivism Discussion List (Mar-Apr 2013):

"false as hell" and "sez". what a casual style paragraph, but serious substance. published in a book. 

if Rand can do it, why shouldn't the rest of us? 

i don't think the rules of how to sound serious have much to do with how to communicate serious ideas. so why follow them? 

are Rand and I missing anything? most people seem to disagree but i don't see the mistake. 

it's true that if you write casual style or form then lots of idiots and fools will disregard what you say. but so what? 

Elliot Temple, "avoiding that others use you as an authority", FI List (Feb 2014):

you can also trash your authority by writing in lowercase, using the abbreviation "u", using simple words, and lots more.

Elliot Temple, "Great", FI List (Apr 3, 2015):

maybe if i post in lowercase, and use casual language, it’ll help you treat me as of an authority. seems to work for some people!

Elliot Temple, "write simpler", FI List (Aug 14, 2015):

i told rami to try writing simpler. only periods and apostrophes and lowercase letters and whitespace. oh and i forgot to say but question marks are ok. simple sentences and short paragraphs. btw apostrophes are not allowed like quote marks around words. apostrophes are for writing contractions and possessives.

you should try this too. it's a good exercise.

Elliot Temple, "Why do people care about grammar?", FI List (Apr 20, 2017):

lots of ppl have called me kinda dumb cuz sometimes i type in lowercase letters. people complain about lowercase when they want an excuse to attack me, or an excuse to dismiss what i said and not pay attention to it.

the other day someone said i didn't use capital letters or punctuation as a complaint. but my punctuation was actually perfect. he just saw the lowercase letters and associated that with not writing punctuation marks either. it was kinda weird how blind he was. i wrote like 3 sentences and they all had periods at the end and there were some commas too.

Elliot Temple, "Grammar", FI List (Oct 20, 2017):

When DD was writing BoI, he and I had lengthy discussions about the grammar of individual sentences, and about grammar rules in general. [...]

DD and I are very precise thinkers and use precise grammar to match our thoughts. [...]

[...] I don’t think I’ve ever actually run into a grammar enforcer (unless you count some recent posts here). [...] What I have run into is people who complain about *style* – e.g. using informal language, simple (unimpressive) words, lowercase letters, etc. They aren’t actually pointing out mistakes, they’re just looking for an excuse to ignore your arguments. Their point is basically, “You write like a teenager, therefore I’m going to ignore you.” This type of person’s favorite thing to complain about isn’t grammar, it’s the word “ur”.

I’ve run into people who are pedantic and split hairs in dumb ways. But I don’t recall anyone who wanted me to learn how to use commas. Actually I’d love if someone would try that – I have some grammar questions I’d ask them, e.g. about asyndeton and comma lists. I imagine the word “asyndeton” would scare them off of trying to lecture me about grammar, but my actual hope would be that they could give me useful information (I have a genuine question about when and why to omit “and” from a comma list).

Comments & Events

Elliot, Fallible Ideas
I enjoyed reading me, but why did you post this?
Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum
Your casual way of writing is something people bring up from time to time. I thought it would be helpful to have some of your thinking on the topic gathered together in one location for easy reference.

I posted the message here because I thought it could stand on its own. I also linked to this post in my first comment in the 😊 curi & Firebench Debate.