Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How To Not Write Well

Dana Hunter has discovered a blog called How To Write Badly Well, which features various examples of, as the title puts it, writing badly well. It's written by Joel Stickley, a professional writer, who makes a habit of parodying various styles of writing, or inventing new ones. Here's an example:

It was four o’clock in the afternoon and Derek was facilitating his process environment. He validated his competency, taking care not to leverage his parameters to an un-optimal degree, then took ownership of the resultant paradigm. Gina knocked on his open door.
‘Derek?’ He looked up.


‘I was just wondering,’ she said, ‘have you facilitated the strategic execution of mission-crucial validation opportunities today?’

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘In addition, I intend to empower myself to refocus those efforts going forward.’

‘Good, just checking.’ She utilised her wrist-based resource to take stock of available man-hours. ‘Nearly quitting time,’ she disseminated in a teamwork-focused office-wide verbal memo.

Optimise Your Vocabulary For Maximal Lexicon Synergy

Having done a bit of technical writing in the past, I especially enjoy this one. When you write just about anything related to computers or electronics, the verbage can get overwhelming. I always had to concentrate on not using more jargon than was necessary.

This guy writes well. He's a professional writer of fiction, and with his talent for recognizing and mimicking different writing styles, it's easy to see he could be a great one. Someday, "Richard held his sausage out over the counter" may rank right up there with "Call me Ishmael" as one of fiction's most memorable opening lines.

Of course, I'm rather hoping it won't.

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