Or, “Why I harp on people for unpolished writing.”
I have two identical messages sitting in my inbox right now. Both literally say “How are you sexy”. I think it would be fair to assume that what both of these gentlemen meant was, “How are you, sexy?” I assume their intent was to combine a classic greeting (“how are you?”) with a compliment (“you are sexy”). However, by omitting the punctuation, they have left me in a state where I can’t exactly be sure. Maybe what they meant was “How are you sexy?” as in, “How are you capable of being sexy?” And in response to that…I don’t know? They labeled me as such, so it’s not really my place to discern why or how that label fits. Or, maybe, to take this a step further, they are so mystified by my apparent sexiness that they cannot even apprehend how I am possible. (I try not to have a huge ego, but, I can’t control what I do to people sometimes. I’m sorry.)
I am reminded of this: https://i.imgur.com/vCBuy9M.png. And yes, I am responding in the same manner as this teacher. The point we’re trying so hard to convey is that the English language has all these rules about grammar to make communication easier. If you use the correct spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation from the get-go, you are doing yourself a favor. If you don’t, you leave your statement up to interpretation by the receiver. And, more often than not, assumptions of your intent will lead you down a path you weren’t expecting.
Another point I want to address here is that of voice. While the English language has all these rules you are supposed to follow to be technically correct, bending these rules (with purpose) can give your communication a better sense of character and intent. A big part of voice is pacing. Manipulation of pace is incredibly powerful. A well-paced action scene will have the reader accelerating through your words as if they were really there. Alternatively, a well-paced horror scene might make the reader scared to read the next sentence.
Very rarely, I must succumb to say, do I feel like the messages I get are meticulously crafted. What people don’t seem to understand is that your voice is how I hear you. And if I have never heard you speak, all I have to go off of is your writing. If you write horrendously run-on sentences with absolutely no pauses at all and you just keep going and going changing subjects without any concern for segues and without giving your reader time to pause and absorb what you just said before you just move on to the next thing that may or may not have anything to do with what you just said–that’s fucking exhausting. I don’t want that in my life. I highly doubt you’re trying to scare me away, but you are. Slow down. Read what you just wrote. Imagine you’re someone else reading what you’ve just put out there. Can you make sense of it? Can you infer the same intent that you originally implied? No? Then go back and fucking edit until you can. Your reader will thank you. (And if you’re reader is me, you might get an actual reply instead of one of my snarky comments.)