Here at dutchangles.com, I do not believe in talking down to my audience.
Chalk it up to a few bad experiences with University newspaper editors who bought the false “truism” that you must speak to your audience at a Grade 5 level or the equivalent of an issue of 17 magazine, but I firmly believe that if you do not completely understand everything being said in the course of a blog post/essay/rant, you have the intelligence and resources necessary to look up the references and learn something new.
dutchangles.com content is written based on the assumption that you are a thinking, feeling, human being who does not want to be pandered to. If it provokes thought or makes you laugh, great. If it’s not your thing, you are free to surf the web and find another site which better suits your disposition.
Links and videos
Whenever possible, I will include relevant links to or YouTube videos to better tell my stories.
No weak ledes, please
What’s a weak lede? Just open any newspaper (online or an old-fashioned printed copy) and you will find yourself inundated with them.
A few examples:
- Any piece that begins with, “You might think…” Actually, no, I don’t think whatever generic, stupid thing you’re going to posit as your lead paragraph. This weak lede catches my eye in the worst possible way and generally condescends to users.
- Any piece that talks about how “unlikely” a pairing is. This doesn’t always occur in the first paragraph, but it happens often enough to be an annoyance. Almost every time I read about a pairing (whether of people, ideas, or things) to be “unlikely”, it takes about five seconds of thought (or less) to realize that there was really nothing more “likely” than this “unlikely” pairing. So why does so much media make such frequent use of the word “unlikely”? A combination of laziness and condescension, I guess.
- Any piece that uses the word “enthusiasts” or “enthuses”. C’mon people, can’t you find a better way to point out that someone is really into something or that your potential audience may have some appreciation for what you’re about to write? The word itself is just awkward. I’m sure there are general uses for it in which it makes sense, but I have rarely, if ever, seen it in any media I read, and I read a lot of media.
Wherever possible, I will avoid punny headlines. They are often unimaginative and lacking in wit. If it comes to it, I may even devote a section of this blog to satirizing the terrible, punny headlines I see so often in the daily papers.
A final note
It is likely this editorial policy page will expand as time goes on, I discover my audience, and I invite guest contributors to the site.