Dumbing It Down by Christine Duncan

http://www.amazon.com/Safe-House-Christine-Duncan/dp/1936127008/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257712524&sr=8-2It happened again just today. I was reading the paper (yeah, I know–old school) and I became annoyed–not about the subject of the  article I was reading which was on the still miserable housing market, but on the way the article was written–as though it was necessary to explain the housing market to idiots. I don’t believe readers are idiots.

The writer, who will remain nameless here, for obvious reasons, felt it necessary to explain everything from economic ups and downs to giving a definition of the phrase negative reinforcement.

Good writers write what they have to say so clearly that the reader doesn’t need a dictionary or someone to explain to him.  Let me give you a for instance, in most of science fiction a new world is introduced with new plants, new creatures and new idioms.  When was the last time you saw a dictionary included?

What does this have to do with you, the writer reading this?  Simply put, I believe that the current trend to treat people as though they can’t possible understand what you have to say unless you “bring it down to their level” may be the reason so many folks tell us they don’t read anymore.  Why bother when all they’re going to get is a pat on the head and the implication that they’re too dumb to follow?

Maybe readers aren’t all that dumb.

End of rant.  Have a good week folks.

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