The Written Word LO20150

Thomas Petzinger Jr. (
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 07:49:33 -0500

Howdy, all.

I have a hunch I'd like to test, namely that the art of the written word
is slowly being restored in organization life. Partly, I think, this
reflects the increasing need to capture nuance and feeling in ways that
fill-in-the-blank forms, Powerpoint presentations, and voice-mail messages
don't permit. Technology may also be driving this trend, as e-mail makes
it so easy to write or "publish" a letter--and so necessary to respond in
turn. From where I sit, it seems people are doing a lot more writing and
perhaps a little less talking.

That said, much of the writing is appalling. Many people of a certain age
remain stuck in the old, hyper-passive, "pursuant-to-your-letter" style.
Others of a different (dare I say younger?) age are more expansive in
their writing--if you can get past the spelling atrocities born of whole
language teaching (a trade-off I accept, grudgingly).

Thus, I am wondering whether people are now beginning to make a conscious
effort to improve the technical or artistic quality of their writing as an
occupational or competitive necessity. I would also love to know if any
organizations (other than the obvious education institutions) are
conducting formal or informal efforts to improve the quality of the
written word within their walls.

All thoughts welcome, in private or via the list. Apropos of this subject,
I must say that the high quality of the writing on this list (none more
than At de Lange's) is one of the pleasures that keeps me reading.


Thomas Petzinger Jr.

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