Don't Write Off The Net

from the this-generational-thing... dept

Ben Hammersley is challenging those who think that the internet is killing off good writing. There have been plenty of stories complaining about kids writing in “txting” language, people relying too much on spell checkers, and getting all their ideas from software. He argues that we’re actually seeing a new burst of creative writing – much of it made possible because of the internet. A new generation of “literary magazines” are booming on the web. Meanwhile, blogging as a method of “literature” might be catching on as well. Witness the literary agents chasing after the new, mysterious “blogger on the run”. A lot of this is being made possible due to the very essence of the internet: it’s a cheap publishing and distribution system. At the same time, the connectivity of the internet is helping writers find each other, and learn from each other – meaning that it’s helping to make some writers better (while, arguably, making some worse). At the same time, he points out, people can get a feel for good writing by reading many of the classics online (at least those in the public domain). Once again, the internet is just a tool… while some complain about how it’s hurting our literary culture, others are using it to build a new literary culture.

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Comments on “Don't Write Off The Net”

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blogal villager (user link) says:

Good Writing

“… a lot of good writing … much of [it] made possible by the Internet.” I agree with you. What’s missing is good editing, I say … speaking as an unemployed NYC editor who looks on with obsessive-compulsive horror at the shambles that people are making of his precious language in print and on the Web these days. Have you people never heard of Strunk and White and the Chicago Manual of Style!?
The problem with personal publishing is that even good writing [yours is not an example of bad writing, of course, just a slip] always need another pair of eyeballs on it before it goes to the print shop. Even the great ones committed typos, and dangled modifiers.

bish says:

Re: Good Writing


(Nice name. I wish I’d’ve thought of it first)

I once read the word “they’res”, as in “That’s not my car; that’s they’res.”

While I don’t claim to be perfect, and suspect I’ve already made one mistake already, I am comfortable knowing that there is a line and that “they’res” has crossed it.

The ‘net makes me wonder if my home country’s school system is somehow extraordinary, sometimes.

– bish

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