Advice for Medium writers
Dizzy Dean was an Arkansas farmboy who made headlines during the Depression, as a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Retired after he threw out his arm, Dean became a radio announcer. While his language was colorful, his use of idiomatic expressions (e. g. ain’t “…there’s people who ain’t sayin’ ain’t, and they ain’t eatin’.”) offended the sensibilities of English teachers, prompting this exchange:
“Mr. Dean, have you ever heard of syntax?” “No, ma’am, but as popular as it is, I reckon there oughta be a tax on it.”
I have standards. They include an appreciation for literacy, grammar, syntax, reason, and the willingness to see beyond one’s own anatomy. Of the pieces that I have read on Medium in the past year, very few rise to the occasion.
Influencers, self-promoters … people peddling crypto-currency, clickbait, soft pornography, extremist politics, or how-to’s on passive income are simply wasting my time. I don’t want to hear about it, okay?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms appear determined to correct any novel spelling of a word, whether it is demonstrably correct or not. As often as not, AI will sneakily substitute its version of proper spelling after I have explicitly corrected its correction. Meanwhile, AI does not appear to have an informed understanding of basic rules of grammar and syntax (perhaps AI should read Strunk and White? [n.b. AI appears to have an issue with Strunk]). Thus, any inclusion of non-standard English is corrected ad-nauseum, while mis-used homonyms abound. If you’re going to cut-and-paste copy, please do us all the courtesy of proof-reading your work. AI can’t do it for you.
Simple enough … write an essay that communicates your idea, read it again yourself (hint: be objective)… weed out the typos, check that your sentences have a reasonably sensible structure … know the difference between principle and principal, affect and effect … if you don’t know, look it up.
Impress me … I’ll give you 50 Claps!