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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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April 14, 2014



I had nearly the same experience with that same article -- I had seen the headline on my Facebook news feed on my phone and tried to find the article later when I was on my iPad (I prefer to read articles on the larger screen when I can.) I had the same trouble you did in finding that information!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Laura. Thanks for letting me know we shared that experience.


Amy Frushour Kelly

Well said!

Lynn, how did you feel when this occurred? Did you feel frustrated, or as though your time had been wasted? I ask because, as a reader, I feel a little betrayed when that happens to me. It's essentially false advertising -- the headline offers a keen, quick insight that the article fails to deliver in a keen, quick way.

In academics, this kind of writing that builds up to a conclusion is valued, but in the academic world, people read the writer's paper or article because it's their job to do so. It's writer-centered. In the mainstream world, the reader is (usually) paying to read the article, making it the writer/editor's job to deliver the promised insights in a manner that's easily comprehensible. When this sort of writing works, it's reader-centered.

Sorry to rant! Love your blog, as always.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Amy, thank you for your interesting view of the situation. I like your discussion of writer-centered and reader-centered writing.

Yes, I did feel frustrated. The title enticed me, and the work of reading to get my reward dragged on.


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