Just Write Like A Person

Wendy Blackheart wrote a thing I’ve thought, but never quite got around to saying out loud:

On another kink related peeve: I find it incredibly jarring to read things with typing protocols, such as W/we Y/you, whatever. Just because I’m a top doesn’t mean I need to bend the rules of English and unnecessarily capitalize words. Likewise, just because someone is submissive doesn’t mean they need to throw out the rules and never capitalize anything.

Do you know what I do when I start to read something written in that fashion? I stop, and I don’t go back. I don’t mean to sound like I’m judging any one’s lifestyle or identification, because I’m not. But when it comes to writing? Just write regularly.

I’m not quite as inclined to “stop and don’t go back” as Wendy, but a lot of abnormal capitalizations and slashes do add substantial pain to my blog reading, and once the pain level overwhelms my interest level, I’m gone. Standard English is standard for a reason, people.

  1. Wendy Blackheart commented on May 25th, 2008:

    ^_^ Yay for standard English!

  2. Sarah commented on May 25th, 2008:

    I agree, drives me potty and seems so unnecessary.

  3. SpankBoss commented on May 26th, 2008:

    To be fair, I think what’s going on is that it’s not easy to project a submissive demeanor in cyberspace, and this is thought to be one way to accomplish that, something many people are literally desperate to do.

    Unfortunately I don’t think the people who do this realize that their attempts to emote submissiveness are in fact creating a substantial impediment to communication, and driving away the very people they are attempting to emote to — namely, their readers.

  4. Owen commented on May 26th, 2008:

    Maybe we could commission a helpful soul to create a pair of new fonts? One submissive and the other dominant. Then the writer’s communication can be made clearer without the need to resort to corrupting the English language.

  5. kaya commented on May 27th, 2008:

    I dunno. It doesn’t really bother me, but maybe that’s because I’m so used to it that my eyes tend to skip over it. The slashy-slash stuff only gets irritating when it’s done incorrectly. Although technically it’s all incorrect, there is a point to it and if you can’t type it pertaining to the point then why bother. Same with third person speech. The concept of that gets murdered, truly.

    Now, I’m guilty of improper caps, but that’s really just my own preference. I cap pronouns referring to Him and I cap Master, but I don’t see that as any different than capping a name. I view Him in a superior light and so I type it that way, just as God is capped and any pronouns referring to God are typically capped.

    Too, some poor submissives are made to type that way according to the Dom’s rules and so I’ll try to wade through the slashes and misplaced caps because her words still have value, even if they’re hidden behind a Dom’s attempt to project a submissive demeanor in cyberspace.

  6. SpankBoss commented on May 27th, 2008:

    Kaya, I was mindful when writing my first comment that “readers” are not always the target audience for internet prose — and a submissive who is writing solely to please one person obviously ought to use whatever prose conventions are most pleasing. Although it’s still a bit puzzling — I mean, if the writing’s not public, why is it on the internet? And if it IS intended for a public audience, wouldn’t the dom, too, want it to be in a functional form that doesn’t repel readers? So why would he require a prose style that drives them away screaming?

    A few extra caps don’t bother me, I find their communicative value outweighs any confusion. But submissively dropping caps where they are required for clarity and grammatical structure (as in, at the beginning of a sentence) is a serious impediment. And the refusal of a couple, kinky or not, to share a common cap status in a collective pronoun is just maddening — if “W/we” can’t even agree on a uniform orthography for the pronoun we share in common, how much “we” have we really got going?

    Of course, ultimately this is a fetish like any other, one that’s an artifact of the internet age and rightly immune to puny objections from uninvolved parties. I’m not condemning it any more than I’m condemning the people who write numerological spanking stories where the erotic content consists of enumerating in loving detail the symmetrical sets of three, six, twelve, twenty, forty, eighty, no, EIGHT HUNDRED cane strokes. Fetish is what fetish is. But it seems to me that when it impairs communication between author and audience, in a context where the author seems to desire an audience, then it’s fair to point out that it’s an impediment.

  7. kaya commented on May 27th, 2008:

    True, true. But!

    Maybe the point of dissension is the part about public viewing. Undoubtedly some are geared for public viewing, but I suspect that some are geared for a select portion of the public. Those that are Gorean, perhaps, only care to cater to a Gorean supportive public, and the writing style is probably Gorean, which is where I tend to see the most third person speech.

    Your blog is clearly meant for spankos, yet a random non-spanker could come here and beat their fists on the table about you only having spanking content and why aren’t you making posts that appeal more to the general public as a whole, blah blah blah, when you are only meaning to appeal to a select group of the public.

    Though admittedly, the English language? Yeah.

    I don’t know. I’m actually running late for work so I have to stop mid-thought. Thanks for fixing the typo! :D

  8. SpankBoss commented on May 27th, 2008:

    Ultimately, I don’t think Wendy is saying, and I know I’m not saying, anything stronger to these protocol typers than “I can’t read you when you type like that” or maybe “It’s not worth the pain, trying to read you when you type like that.”

    If the honest answer really is “Well, I wasn’t writing it for you, so I don’t care if you read it or not”, then, cool. But, human vanity being what it is, I think most everybody who writes on the internet is hoping for the broadest audience they can get.

    Kaya, funny thing about your example — lately I’m getting a huge rash of complaints (most of them so rude they don’t make it out of moderation) that I don’t focus narrowly enough on spanking. I’ve even got one guy who has made at least three efforts to comment (rudely) on this very thread, going “What is this protocol stuff? Nobody does this, I’ve never seen it! Why are you talking about this on a spanking blog? This has nothing to do with spanking! My brain hurts, stopit STOPPIT STOP IT!

    Of course, I am paraphrasing, but only a little.

  9. kaya commented on May 28th, 2008:

    Well dammit Man! This IS the “all-spanking network, all the time” isn’t it? ;-)

    Just goes to show ya, you can please some of the people all of the time and you can please all of the people some of the time, but you cannot, ever, please all of the people all of the time.

    But I am pleased. And that is all that matters. *snicker*

  10. SpankBoss commented on May 28th, 2008:

    LOL, that’s one happy customer anyway.

    What I don’t get about the narrower spanking fetishists is that they don’t seem to understand that their fetish has a broader social context. The spanking fetish is informed and shaped by the broader BDSM community whether spankos want to identify with that broader community, or not.

    Meanwhile, enough of my readers are generally kinky for me to feel comfortable ranging fairly far afield, even if the spanking focus here is a constant.

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