Limitations of the written language on GAB

Posted on May 4, 2020

may 4th, 2020

Limitations of the written language on GAB

Many of us love the written language.
But few would deny that the written language is open to misunderstanding, whether accidental, or contrived-deliberate. Taking just the familiar expressions “I love you ” and “I hate you “. If you reflect on it, in the SPOKEN delivery, it's easy to make either expression sound romantic-seductive-charming, OR hate-filled, snarling, even homicidal. Try it. It's fun. In the spoken environment, we would benefit from many clues giving us the true nature of the speaker's sentiments. From a bouquet of roses in hand, a box of chocolates, to a snarling, spittle-filled delivery on t'other. Not to mention maybe a mad glint-in-eye, gleaming hatchet in hand. Run, FFS.

It's an entirely different affair in the WRITTEN medium. Those supporting clues are gone, and what we have is just the context. Now we have the additional problem, as writers, that we know the 'reading comprehension skills' of potential readers vary enormously. That's without any malice, prejudice or connivance involved. Thus I've seen people taking furious offense to passages I've written, where I was genuinely puzzled as to why. Turned out to be classic examples of 'mistaken tone'. What I meant in a wondering, puzzling, questioning, quite SYMPATHETIC tone, was totally mis-interpreted as scathing sarcasm.  And taken personally.  A 180 degree flip from what was intended to be transmitted. And what was received. Oops. It left me puzzling. As a writer, I felt I'd failed, somehow.

If you take in advanced writing techniques, the picture only becomes darker, and more murky. For dramatic effect, writers throw in sarcasm, juxtaposition, exaggeration, hyperbole, cheekiness, a spoonful of contrived insanity, and lots of mischief & fun. We wish to entertain and keep our readers, after all.
You'll see my point: readers on GAB vary enormously, and so do their motivations.

You can't possibly cater for them all+++

…simultaneously, all in the same passage. While we joke around with our regular buds, engaging in screaming satire, obviously as absurd as cat Cuckoo whistling Dixie on a pink bicycle, in comes some take-it-literally Left-leaning reader, who either by level of sophistication or malevolent design, is incapable (or unwilling) to see the satire, the hyperbole, the irony or the dry humor.  (although, oddly, it has to be said they never hesitate for a moment to liberally use those devices themselves).
The bottom line is that Left-leaning (Left-toppling-over) Twitter, Facebook, Quora, etc, all TRY and cater to every single enraged yowl that comes their way. Especially, of course, if it's from a Liberal.  The result is that the more interesting, spicy, avant-garde writers leave, tired of the endless warnings & banishment.  

The result is a dry, cardboard-tasting pizza. Impossible to adjudicate in a manner that pleases ALL. Best not even to try.

GAB has avoided this trap so far, for which we may be humbly grateful.

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