Is writing ‘talking with your fingers’?

According to one writer, being too prescriptive about writing is passé. That, plus plagiarism and diversity issues in this week’s roundup.

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Each week, Evan Peterson rounds up stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out. This week, we’re introduced to a brand of ultra grammar prescriptivism, a legend of writing instruction passes away, and TV writers talk about diversity.

Is writing less important than speaking?: Bad writing is all around us in tweets, texts and e-mails. Is it time to fix it? Is it too late to fix? Or, as John McWhorter writes is it not a big deal? These things are, he says, “essentially talking with your fingers,” and talking is what most people do now. We are not in a crisis era of poor (and poorly taught) writing. We just have different tools to communicate, writes McWhorter. Besides, is there any going back?

Let’s stop pretending that the way Kim Kardashian tweets and the way so many people write is a problem that can be fixed. Who among us imagines that public schools will really go back to teaching sentence structure and prose style as strictly as in the old days?

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