A Bad Writer Am I

For the last year I’ve become more and more aware that my writing style is going to shit. I was never a fantastic communicator via the written word, but of late I’ve noticed that my existing skills are deteriorating. I write using too many words. I rely on commas too much. Worst of all, I’m so afraid to offend anyone that I attempt to pre-apologize for every sentence I write. Recently I’ve been doing some technical writing here at work and I’ve noticed that my style is not only a detraction from the intent of the documents I write, but it is potentially a stain on my ability as an engineer.

If I sound like I’m waffling on every sentence that I write because I don’t personally believe it one hundred percent, I sound like I don’t know anything at all and therefore why should I be trusted to author a design document in the first place? I find myself using the words “we should”, “it might”, or “I think” when I should be writing “we will”, “it is”, or “we know.”

This reason I’m dwelling on this in a post is that I somehow linked through several blogs to this post which details Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do). As I read through the various mistakes listed, I found myself saying “I think I do that” far too much for my liking. In particular I find myself included in Mistakes Two and Three especially, and Mistakes One, Six, Eight, Nine, and Ten to a lesser degree.

I need help. I want to write so people understand me. I don’t want to communicate “good enough.” I want people (in work and on whazzmaster) to say that I know how to drive thoughts and concepts into readers’ heads like railroad spikes. So here I go, on a concious effort to reduce the flowery speech and get to the heart of the matter. Let’s see if it works.

There will probably be follow-ups to this post.

–“whazz on” is probably not good English

19 thoughts on “A Bad Writer Am I

  1. zach i can sympathize with you and your want to be a better writer, look who I am dating. Do you think I can ever live up to wwhazz?? Recently he helped me with a literary analysis, which meant he wrote me an intro, conclusion and an outline for the body, which I filled in. Now I can’t stop hearing about how I am a cheater, but how important is it that a nurse is able to write a literary analysis on Mrs. Fortescue???
    Also I liked the picture from a couple of blogs ago, I hardly recognized myself- I look like someone just pulled me from a dumpster, wow I puked a lot that morning.
    And last but not least I would like to announce to all of whazzmaster that I am almost done with school- only five more days of actual class and two days of exams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippeeeee!!!!! 5.5 years of college, 4 years of high school, 8 years of parochial grade school, 1 year of kindergarten and 1 year of preschool- Finally, finally, finally I will be a real nurse! (pending my boards, but I am not going to worry about that yet) And Wwhazz and I have our cruise vacation coming up in less than one month. We leave on Jan 1 for New Orleans where our ship- Victory sails to Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel Mexico and back to New Orleans. It’s going to be great.
    p.s. Hi Cal- I like the CD you sent Wwhazz, especially the one with the lady saying she wants something to stick her dick in.

  2. Have any of you played Cal’s version, efruittrader.org? It’s way cool: you grow organic vegetables, virtually of course, and then trade them to other communes. You start with easy ones (cilantro, carrots) and move up to more complex produce like strawberries and ginger. Also, marathons and voting in this fun filled game.

    And raj, shithead, you’re a grand writer.

  3. 1. ‘Grand’ is an adjective one doesn’t hear too much these days. Bravo, good chap.
    2. Yo Zach, I think idiots have been ripping off edrugtrader since Day Zero. I remember living with Scientist back in 2001 and him showing me all the other sites that were trying to copy him then. I can only assume that someone thinks they can make a major motion picture out of the idea today.

  4. I like grand, but it’s sorta a crutch word for me. I also lean on impossible: The grand stench wafted from the hobo’s impossibly hairy armpits.

  5. 1. I don’t think ‘everytime’ is a compound word.2. Wirkuswhazz, I thought you’d be interested to hear about my lunch today. Me and Judd went with some coworkers to a sushi place. My coworker knew the sushi chef, and he hooked us up. I guess every time (everytime?) they go there the guy just makes some new creation and hooks them up. Today’s was a shrimp tempura roll with tuna and mango on top, covered with raspberry sauce, some white sauce, and two different kinds of roe. Judd tried it. I did not.

  6. 1. dude it’s true you are such a bad writer everytime i read what you write i ‘m like that writitng is so bad i can’t even believe it! no that is not true! you are very good horay for whazzmaster! i especially liked : “norturn minnesota, doncha know” that was grand.

    2. on the el in chicago when you pull up to Grand St. on the Blue line the recorded voice says “this is grand” the recorded voice is extremely pleased to be a part of the blue line

    3. it’s the moldy peaches bellgirl! horay for the moldy peaches!

    4. hi billgirl

    5. i mean bellgirl

    6. i had some coffee today and i regret it!

    7. what was seven again??? oh yeah american movie is my favorite movie ever. ever. ever. i saw it in wisco with o’neil and wwhazz. since then i’ve seen it about a million times.

    8. another favorite movie is SIDEWAYS. go out and see this movie you jerks. xoxox cal

  7. Hey all you non-technical whazzers, I thought I’d alert you to the presence of Microsoft’s new Blogging Tool. I made a sample Whazzmaster Blog at http://spaces.msn.com/members/whazzmaster/. The Good Things about it is an easy interface and easy uploading of pictures. It also has a weird Song List feature where you show everybody your favorite playlists, though there doesn’t appear to be any way to LISTEN to the songs you write down. I guess 14 year olds can get their jollies by seeing what each other are listening to. But the blogging and picture uploading seem okee-dokeee. If anyone creates and maintains a blog let me know so I can add it to my list, like good ol’ Luke.

  8. 1. Have you lost your damn mind? Make blogs on the Internet? Are you not aware of the fact that most of us here on “whazzmaster.com” are barely techo-savvy enough to post on the wesite you have made, let alone build their own website … by themselves? 2. As Cal exemplifies: good writing rarely features incredibly poor punctuation. Most people who consider themselves good writers would not even bother to read the bottom feeder drivel that Cal has written. But the unique thing about Cal’s writing happens to be what made Kerouac famous: run on sentences that create the sensation of movement. Brilliant. Disclaimer: That means to say Kerouac’s writing was brilliant, not Cal’s. …or does it?

    3. The reason why I write like I am a crazy woman is because it is true. I have exams all of next week, after which I will live in oblivion for my entire month-long winter break. Doing nothing.

    4. Last night Justin and I were violently awakened by the screaming siren of my apartment building’s fire alarm. We had to spend over 30 minutes in the freezing cold waiting for the firemen to put out a negligently set fire of newspapers on the 7th floor. My theory is that a homeless man or woman had snuck into the building and was shacked up in the stairwell next to the service elevator when they fell asleep smoking a cigarette.

  9. i hate the spacebar. It never works. It probably has something to do with why my shift, control, function, “x”, alt and “z” key don’t always work…because a flight nazi spilled captain and coke in my laptop around that general area.

  10. So “Remember Me?” seems to be broken.

    Thinking back to Mrs. Bixler’s class, who would have thought 1) that we (well, Zach and I anyway) would be writing as much as we do today, be it via e-mail, blog, etc., and 2) that we would care this much about grammar and style today? I remember *hating* English through school, and it was always my Achilles heel (because you know, B’s in high school are really, really bad). Yet today I find myself reading what other people have written and thinking “what the hell is wrong with them?” The number of people that don’t know too from to, your from you’re and right from write scares me.

  11. 1. Remember Me seems to keep my info with no problems. Maybe it’s cause you’re on a MAC~!2. I was considered a good writer by high school standards, but I don’t think I was a compelling writer. It was just that I had an un-high school-like penchant for using big words.

Comments are closed.