What’s More Important: the Structure or the Message?

As a writer…

Ooh, that feels good to say. Much better than Support Director.


…I tend to nitpick over grammar and word usage. It comes with the territory.

After all, a great man once said, “It’s rules to this shit.”

But sometimes I think about language and why the rules matter so much. Who made the rules? Are we, as writers, never allowed to question the rules of our craft?

Well, that’s silly.

Okay, now that’s silly.

Language was (organically) created as a way of conveying a feeling. We use music, paintings, and other art forms in a similar, but less restrictive way. But it conveys a feeling nonetheless.

“Oh my god, it’s a giant tarantula!” is only induced by one’s particular feeling when they see a giant tarantula. Insert whatever scenario you want; at the end of the day, language is just an interpretation of thoughts and feelings.

That might be the reason why sometimes people can’t find the right words for a situation.

So you scream instead.

Or laugh.

Or whatever silly human sound we make because words are not enough. It’s the same reason we use emoticons in casual messaging. It’s a shame we’re so stuck on the rules that we don’t allow them in more formal writing. Maybe we’d be able to specify context better ;]

But we’re stuck on the rules to a certain extent. In everyday practice, I’m a horrible writer. Hell, I even bastardize the structure of the written English language on my blog. Yet somehow, people still understand me. Hmmm…

So what’s more important, the structure or the message?

The message, obviously.Communication is pointless without it. So can’t we all just agree that there is space for all types of writing styles and they can be employed in different ways? I look at journalism in this way. There’s never been a journalistic piece that surprised me with its written style. I know what I’m going to get and some are written better than others. There’s no room to deviate from rules such as paragraph structure.

I rarely write structured paragraphs.

Fuck paragraphs.

I often write the way I think because it allows people to know me. If you care to know me, that is. I, however, think I’m a pretty awesome guy to know so I write in my voice.

Putting my voice on paper helps to keep it from staying in my head.

That’s an interesting thought I didn’t have until the very moment I wrote this. Maybe I’ll explore that thought further tomorrow.

Anyway, that was by no means a way for me to say my way is the best. It’s just what works for me. I just think there is room for language to be more elastic. We do it all the time anyway. For example…

When does slang stop becoming slang?

Why did English become Old English?

Why did the new English become Middle English?

Will current English be Old English someday?

Bah, what do I know? I just like to ask questions. I do know that language evolves as we speak and the “rules” are never really being followed anyway.

Many religions work the same way.

Har har.

I’m going to definitely touch on that sometime too, but relax, nothing I say will be offensive.


Anyway, I’m not saying anything needs to be changed. These questions just help to give me an identity as a writer.Now, if you imagine my reaction to seeing a giant tarantula, you’ll know exactly how I’d convey it.

The correct answer is, screaming like a frightened 2-year-old girl.

Or boy. They sound about the same at that age. No need to be sexist about it, right?

Peace out, party people.


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