User talk:Andy Maloney/Notebook/Lab Notebook of Andy Maloney/2009/06/04/Paper ranting

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Steve Koch 18:52, 4 June 2009 (EDT): You and Cahill should have a beer! It's possible that some readers are different than you an extract more meaning from complex sentences.

Andy Maloney 23:51, 4 June 2009 (EDT): You make a valid point about other readers being able to extract more information in less amount of time with complex sentences. However, when was the last time you were able to maintain focus and clarity, such as when sentences have lengthy structure (as with this one), typical readers lose focus, with complicated sentences? There is nothing wrong with the above sentence. My parenthetical insertion can be taken out and the sentence still has the same meaning. But, it's too complicated.

When was the last time someone stated "your sentence is too simple" or "the way you structure your ideas is too simple"? I think that there is still this legacy that writing should be formal and not conversational. Just the same way you were taught to structure your essays on literature. I'm pretty sure you will never hear someone talk with such complexity unless they are just ignorant and want to confuse your listener.

I welcome any more thoughts on this. By the way, thanks for the debate.

Steve Koch 00:12, 5 June 2009 (EDT): What I should have said was, "there may not be a perfect form of writing." I'm a big fan of Hemingway's writing, and he was into short sentences. But maybe some people actually are distracted by a string of short declarative sentences? I don't know. As you know, my natural tendency is to write unnecessarily complicated (and parenthetical) sentences. Is this because I took Latin? But it's much easier for me to write that way...but does that mean it's easier for me to read that way too? I don't know. I definitely didn't notice the writing in that paper the way you did. If it were in German, then I would have noticed. The funny thing is, I think you're prone to get equally irked by bad writing as you are by lack of key methods information. But in reality, the lack of key methods info is way worse than crappy writing. It could be that I've read 2,000 poorly written papers by now, so I'm used to it? Thank you for the debate as well!

Steve Koch 00:13, 5 June 2009 (EDT): Also: About the "this would go better in a blog" musing. It works fine on the wiki. However, if you actually want someone with insight to comment (instead of just me), then you'd do really well to somehow put the comment or a link to it on friendfeed.

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