nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Garmerspeak and the evolution of English
But then another interesting thing started happening: the more sloppily I typed, the more people paid attention when I bothered to type properly. It's like cursing: if you curse all the time, people stop taking you seriously. But if you never curse and one day you do, everyone stops and rushes over because they're sure you're about to explode. There's something to be said for being able to make people pause and say, "Wow, she must feel strongly about that because she bothered to punctuate."

But none of this trumped the most fascinating observation... something I noticed only a week ago when I saw a couple of my lines in succession, all without punctuation or capitalization... and I realized that while I wasn't bothering with those things, what I was bothering with was rhythm. In my head, I was treating it like free verse... like a gamer e e cummings. After that, the entire paradigm shifted. I was fascinated by the fact that rhythm mattered so much while I was framing these sentences in my head. The lack of punctuation was a feature, not a bug: you were intended to drift off into a long pause, not come to a short halt. Uncertainty was integral. It made sense of the "not wanting to communicate everything" aspect of filtering yourself, and yet it did communicate... but to the part of me that reads poetry, not prose.

And there's lots of good stuff in the comments, too.

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