The Lazy Writer

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Lazy writing is a pain for readers.

I deal with this a lot at work as a software developer and project manager. Typically this occurs in support issues raised by clients.

The flow of reading doesn’t just apply to formal writing (books, newspapers, blogs) it applies pretty much everywhere there is a written word.

Some of our clients use text speak and it can take an age to parse what they are saying. Each time you go back and re-read the reported issue you have to spend the time to re-parse the text. The result is; them being, for want of a better word, lazy as writers just means all of the readers have to do the work instead.

Seeming as there is only one author and several consumers of the text the onus has moved from the author to do the work once to each and every one of the readers to do the work several times. It also multiplies the work needed by the number of times each reader has to revisit that text and read it again. It is largely this that frustrates me about ‘lazy’ writing.

Who are you to say I and everyone else should do the work, you’re the one who wants to get a point across. If you can’t be bothered to put in some effort yourself as an author of a piece of text why should I as a reader put in any more effort.

Which requires less effort to read and action?
pls cd u fx prb wiv invcng sys b4 mon
Please could you fix the issues that we’ve found in the invoicing system before Monday the 8th.

Not only that but with text speak there is no correct way to write it, so you can’t even get used to it a lot of the time. The above could come as:
pse cld U fcks pbwith inv sstm bfr mon
ps cud u fic pblm wf in sys

A large part of having a common definition of spelling and grammar is to make it easy to parse and for the meaning to be easy to understand. Skilled writers know how to play with those rules and from that we get authors such as Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, Terry Pratchett