Every once in a while I get correspondence from someone chiding me for the way I write — in particular the informality. I received one the other day complaining about sentences that begin with “but” or “and”. There is, however, a reason I write this way. You see, the things I write about are very important; they affect lives and the destiny of nations. But despite that, economics can all too easily become dry and boring; it’s just the nature of the subject. And I have to find, every time I write, a way to get past that problem. One thing that helps, I’ve found, is to give the writing a bit of a forward rush, with a kind of sprung or syncopated rhythm, which often involves sentences that are deliberately off center.
More broadly, the inherent stuffiness of the subject demands, almost as compensation, as conversational a tone as I can manage.
[Paul Krugman, NY Times]”—
Love this short piece— and the turn of phrase “a bit of a forward rush” - - from Paul Krugman’s blog about why he uses elastic and informal language in his writing.
shit flack for this too, as well as for using exclamation points and smiley faces in my emails.
From my point of view, standard business language is unnecessarily tedious. If I’m using a “;)” or an exclamation point in my correspondence, I’m genuinely excited to be talking with you about whatever it is we’re talking about.
Reference also If you’re happy and you know it, must I know it too from Sunday’s NY Times (october 21, 2011), which quotes a serious bunch of
cranks and assholes people who don’t like their smiley faces very much.