Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Write for Non Readers

Since I have been waxing on and on about blogging and Twitter, etc, I thought it would be a public service to share some fun at my own expense.

For years I have irritated my wife by telling folks I have a Bachelor of Arts in Spelling but have seen my chosen profession replaced by spell check software.

After reading McSweeney's new English Department course description - Internet Age Writing - I am now going to change my BA to Writing for the Non Reader.

Here is the course introduction as a tease - the whole thing is worth the read...

"Course Description

As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers.

Instant messaging. Twittering. Facebook updates. These 21st-century literary genres are defining a new "Lost Generation" of minimalists who would much rather watch Lost on their iPhones than toil over long-winded articles and short stories. Students will acquire the tools needed to make their tweets glimmer with a complete lack of forethought, their Facebook updates ring with self-importance, and their blog entries shimmer with literary pithiness. All without the restraints of writing in complete sentences. w00t! w00t! Throughout the course, a further paring down of the Hemingway/Stein school of minimalism will be emphasized, limiting the superfluous use of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, gerunds, and other literary pitfalls."

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