Sunday, May 06, 2007


This is part of a genuine project specification put up on Scriptlance a few minutes ago:

"The style and voice of the article should be interesting, conversational, filled with everyday language and expressions. These articles are written for middle America and you will lose points for demonstrating your use of vocabulary words found on the SAT exam. You should explain things like explaining them to a child without talking down to the reader."

I think that translates as "My readers are morons but please don't make it obvious to them." It's almost too tempting.

10 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dave said...

I don't know any Americans, but the blogs I read seem quite literate. I was almost revising my opinions of them, when I realised that those who write blogs are those who can write.

10:05 am  
Anonymous Steve Dix said...

So, in other words, gutter press or Boulevardzeitungen.

I know for a fact that the lower end of the UK press deliberately write articles so anyone with the comprehension of a 7-year-old can read them. The same presumably goes for German gutter press such as Express(.de) and Bild.

1:48 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

And the other end of the press, Steve, fill their pages with emperor's new clothes utter bollocks most of the time. "Write stuff people with sticky-up hair on the tube think they can understand"

8:22 pm  
Blogger Rol Hirst said...

"You should explain things like explaining them to a child without talking down to the reader."

Not only is this a badly constructed sentence, it also contradicts itself. I love it! Where do I sign?

12:39 pm  
Blogger Pamela said...

That's exactly how I write my weekly newspaper columns!

12:46 am  
Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

Perhaps I am a simpleton, but I enjoy reading news without flair. I like a very to the point, ordered news brief with facts in proper chronological order. If the news writer places too many obscure references and jumbles the flow for creativity it does the same to the facts in my mind.

10:21 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Jed, you're far from a simpleton so you certainly don't deserve to be treated as one by teh interwebs. I too like my news served up in a way that allows me to form my own opinions but this is slightly different. To be able to read the article the gentleman was commissioning assumes a certain amount of skill in being able to work a computer and search it out in the first place. Surely this isn't beyond the capabilities of the average middle American? The fact is, when someone says they have a website that is "content driven" all it means is that it's going to be a collection of second hand or made-up drivel written by non-native English speakers, full of search-engine friendly keywords. They want you to click on the google ads, hoping you'll find what you want there, not read the useless content on their site. It's a very cynical attempt to take advantage of a dumbed down society. I only write content for webmasters who want genuinely interesting and well-researched material and are prepared to pay a decent rate for my effort. Consequently I'm broke.

From what I can gather the SAT exam is a general test of academic ability in maths and English for college entrants. I had a look at some dummy questions and one stood out: "In a classroom of 35 students, 14 our male. What percent of the classroom is male? (sic)"

11:09 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

No idea what this post is all about, but when are we all going to get pissed together?

I suggest a sunny Sunday afternoon in September. Are you in Kent now? That sounds sort of central...

6:38 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

PS: we should probbly invite that Betty and Geoff, right?

6:39 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Mark, you must be very busy. Been back in Cheshire now for a month! But I'm still up for it.

10:41 pm  

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