it’s interesting whenever i blog because i’ve always been using what i like to call ‘standard’ which is more or less the grammatical way to compose english, including punctuation. so i always capitalize when necessary, i end my sentences with a period.
This is how I usually write on the blogs. Capitalizing the word ‘I’, being careful not to overextend sentences with commas, always thinking of replacements for semicolons, etc. I’ve been reading this book called “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman and in it he talks about an intuitive, impulsive System 1 and a calculated, slower, reasoning System 2. I feel when I type in this kind of style, my System 2 is being used. It’s slower and more methodical. I type backspace quite frequently in search of better grammatical phrasing.
I do think I have a personal twist to the standard style that actually might be common but I’m unsure: before sentence-ending emojis or emoticons, I will optionally exclude my period. Maybe I think the emoticon is a suitable replacement for the period, who knows :p
in actuality, however, one of my default typing styles for as long as i can remember has been more like ‘slim monocase.’ (i just made this word up on the spot so pls don’t hurt me) there are actually a lot of explicitly distinguishable features from this style and the standard style. first, everything is lowercase unless it absolutely has to be uppercase, hence the word ‘monocase.’ second, grammar and punctuation is retained, but in a looser fashion. there probably will be more omitting of the oxford comma, and comma frequency in general might be slightly lower. there might be a slight increase in abbreviations like ‘pls’ or ‘lol’. especially in chat messaging situations, periods are omitted before carriage returns unless it’s a blog post. these looser restrictions make up the ‘slim.’
‘slim monocase’ is the style that i’d ideally like to write in for the blogs, since it comes most naturally to me. i’m still checking for grammar and stuff frequently, so it’s got a fair amount of System 2 going still (like deciding whether or not that s in system 2 just now should be capitalized), but it’s a lot more free-flowing.
if we go even further we get into another default typing style of mine, i call it ‘simple’
its a single sentence format so it doesnt really work for paragraphs
theres only essential punctuation like quotes or mandatory commas
i type like this for texting pretty much
instead of typing ‘oh’ ill go ‘o’ and stuff like that
btw none of these styles were deliberately constructed theyre just styles that i observed while reading the different ways i write/type things online and drew data from
also im annoyed that theres no clean, short word for writing or digital communication through text so ill make up another word, ‘wryping’
on mobile especially, i noticed a lot of people have something similar to slim monocase but capitalize the first character in the message, likely because they didnt turn that setting off because capitalizing the first word of your message is default on most mobile smartphones
im still typing in relatively ok grammar even in the ‘simple’ style
things are completely changed
grammar has no rules
do i ever type like this?
but it has a name,
ok, went too far in abstraction of writing styles, sorry, back to… what was it called? slim… mono… case? (honestly, i should just call it ‘lowercase’ because that’s pretty much what it is.) if we went any further, i’d be trying to communicate using binary or something. anyway. the reason this topic is even relevant on the mit blogs is because a) from here on out, i think the default ‘wryping’ style i write in moving forwards is this style right now. i say default because there are a lot of exceptions: for informational posts like my last post about course 6-3, i’ll be writing in standard. for more casual life/culture/boston stuff it’ll probably be this style. and b) writing in standard style has actually influenced my mit ‘writing block’ and helped deter me from producing anything on a regular frequency on the mit blogs. let me explain.
mit is a hard school. and even though i probably will do things worth blogging about from time to time, during the academic year, it’s all about catching up on work at some point in the middle of the semester and you’re so caught up going from moment to moment, deadline to deadline that you can’t really be forced to carefully craft a blog post about something memorable you did since that takes a lot of time and concentrated effort (and, i guess, prolonged System 2). if i didn’t put in any thought into posts, they’d probably just look like ‘did this for this class. then did this for that class. then, finally, did that for that other class.’ an argument could be made for whether or not that would actually be Useful Content, which in my opinion ultimately isn’t, but that could be interesting discussion.
i think part of what gave me blogger’s writing block (a small part, not the main reason) might be that when i blog and when i blog only, i’m using a standard style. (ok, i’m lying a little, CI-H classes also strived for good punctuation) it’s something as simple as not using the shift button, but that little change in my typing quirk and i feel like i produce writing a lot more easily, more smoothly, and more creatively. it’s weird, but it works.
now that i think about it, allan k. ’17’s writing style on the blogs came to mind, and i was curious so i checked, and allan also uses this thing i’m calling monocase. allan actually has a more aggressive version of monocase and literally does not use the shift button at all, which i can respect. if capital letters do exist, it’s because they’re block capitals (a la capslock). i guess ‘monocase’ as a name is actually a pretty good name after all, because it acknowledges the ‘all caps XOR all lowercase for a given word’ principle. (btw if you’re reading this i’m sorry for stalking your blogs for ten minutes ;;)
anyway, those were a lot of thoughts. we’ll see how this goes. feel free to send thoughts of your own!
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