Developing Your Writing Style II
Why would writers use language difficult for readers to understand in an attempt to sound clever? These men and women desire that the reader, after finishing their writing, will leave with the feeling that they (the writer) has shared some type of deep message that no one else could have written. That is usually not true. Instead the writer has attempted to hide the fact that he/she doesn’t really know much about their subject. So they try to hide this fact from their reader by using a lot of abstract words, in long complicated sentences. If the reader is unable to deciefer the writer’s message it appears the reader is unintelligent.
Writing complicated sentences just for the sake of writing them is not a good practice. Joseph Williams and Joseph Bizup addressed this issue in their book Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Williams and Bizup thought there were several reasons that writers would express themselves in that way. The writer may be afraid of making errors, so he/she does not see writing as a way of sharing ideas with their readers. These writers fear each word as a chance to make a mistake instead of focusing on giving their readers a pleasant experience.
Williams and Bizup said another reason could be that when writing an author knows what they want to say so the writing seems to be exactly what they want to say. These type of writers feel that there message is clear to others because they know what they are trying to say. So as soon as the writings read as the author desires it to read they see it as complete. These writers never read their writings from the vantage point of the reader. These writers are sometimes selfish and only care about their own perception of their writings.
For whatever reason a writer would use abstract words and long sentences, it does not usually profit their readers. This type of writing should be used only in instances when they are expressing ideas to a specific group of learned scholars that share knowledge of the topic.