Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It's occurred to me that not only are most people bad writers, most people are also bad readers. Or maybe most people are just readers reading bad writing, like you who are reading this... I don't know. But it's very apparent that comprehension skills are falling by the wayside.

Maybe it's the school system's fault. Actually, yeah, it's probably the school system's fault. The modern propensity to deemphasize rules and structure in favor of individual interpretations and subjective rhetoric is definitely at fault, if there even is such a modern propensity. I think I might have just made that up, but the scary thing is that you probably know what I'm talking about.

Take the dying skill of argumentative debate. Thanks to such "advances" in communications such as text messaging, IMs, and Twitter, debates now only require 10% of the time to devolve into unproductive name-calling as they did 30 years ago. YouTube videos, vague and undocumented Wikipedia entries, and politically-oriented blogs written by people who've never actually left their houses are thrown around as "evidence" to support controversies and subjective perceptions of the Constitution. Never mind that the "science" you're quoting only holds up in the vacuum of a laboratory, and never mind that your "source" carefully omits a rather important part of physics... just go ahead and whine like a mule, call me a colorful adjective, and sign out of whatever service you're using to "engage in communication" with me. But don't forget to post another piece of "evidence" that actually clearly and blatantly destroys your own thesis before you go.

My favorite, though, is when someone perceives something written as a personal attack, when it was no such thing, and then attempts to defend against the imaginary affront. Needless to say, these defenses come across as embarrassingly foolish, revealing a person who has no idea of what had actually been written, and even less of an idea of how it should've been interpreted. And they usually aren't helped by their lack of coherent thought... never mind their irrelevance.

Which brings us to the vanity of it all. I don't know what it is about being able to see one's own grammatically-foul and chronically misspelled rants all over cyberspace that makes one feel as though they're the center of the universe, but it happens. It's probably going to happen when some of you read this very piece. I assure you, I am most certainly not talking about you. And, despite that disclaimer, some yahoos are still going to think what's written above is all about them.

Otherwise known as the inability to comprehend.


  1. Confirmation bias, baby, confirmation bias

    Posted by Bitsy on June 17, 2009 - Wednesday - 9:40 PM

  2. Wish I could give it 10 kudos. This edit is perfect....

    "And, despite that disclaimer, some yahoos are still going to think what's written above is all about them.

    Otherwise known as the inability to comprehend."

    I don't know why, but I just love that.

    Posted by Jessica Lynn on June 17, 2009 - Wednesday - 10:48 PM

  3. "The vanity of your enemies is that they always think you're talking about them."

    Posted by JeffScape on June 17, 2009 - Wednesday - 9:42 PM