bneely (bneely) wrote,

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don't write the way you speak

I aim to convince people that writing is nothing like speaking, and I found an excellent example to illustrate the problem. In The ultimate airplane tour, we find this quote:
It seems as if almost nobody is here it is so quiet but inside the planes we're told teams of workmen are beavering away (as well as robots).
I can vividly imagine a reporter speaking those exact words into a portable recorder. I'm sure that the phrase makes sense during playback, because of contextual inflection, but the transcription is extremely difficult to read. Inflection can't be written without looking *stupid*. Your writing should avoid depending on something that isn't there.

The reporter and editor(s) also treated us to a run-on sentence.

I would write the above quote like this:
It is so quiet that it seems as if almost nobody is here. The tour guide tells us, however, that teams of workmen and robots are beavering away inside the planes.
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