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April 10, 2006

The Return Key Is Your Friend

Check out these two Marty Peretz posts (1, 2); shouldn't somebody inform the guy that blogs -- new, untested technology that they are -- can do line breaks?

April 10, 2006 | Permalink


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Some folks just don't think in paragraphs, or the implications of writing online. It is the paragrahical version of the run-on sentence gone wild.

Actually I think when the final judgement is made on the impact of online communication is written and certified, we are likely to find that even the non-internet definition of a paragraph makes for unreadable discourse. Five lines in a para is fine, ten is acceptable or marginal. More than that: you've lost me.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 10, 2006 2:42:38 PM

Anyone who remembers essay or letter writing in school should be able to nail blogging. Anything else is liable to degrade into an unintelligible schmozzle.
Jim's note on indentation says it all : white space helps show the organization of thoughts.

Posted by: opit | Apr 10, 2006 3:15:58 PM

white space helps show the organization of thoughts.

Organization yasay? Martin Peretz responding to criticism of Israel? Mutually exclusive I say. (I understand he owns the magazine and all, but isn't this something like Jerry Jones thinking he's the coach of the Cowboys?)

Note: Not to say that I support the Walt-Mearsheimer thing, I just think the instantaneous and gratuitous pushback is somewhat silly.

Posted by: Pooh | Apr 10, 2006 3:22:04 PM

Oh come on, Ezra -- Marty-blogging is such a raw guilty pleasure -- would you really want to change a single thing? The first one about Kerry (not the one linked though that's pretty good too; the one about how nobody bought a picture of Kerry at an auction) is an absolute classic. There's just no other pundit on the face of the earth who would have written it. There's no editor on the face of the earth who would have published it. It's the secret ingredient in the TNR sauce, or whatever. To end the run-ons would be to violate the essense of the post. Don't criticize -- enjoy.

Posted by: Laura | Apr 10, 2006 3:35:56 PM

I think Laura is probably correct: The big gooey chunk of indigestible mono-paragraph is a style. A bad style, but a style nonetheless. It perfectly demonstrates the I-can't-even-pause-to-take-a-breath rant. How nice that Marty's able to capture that in prose.

Posted by: Zeno | Apr 10, 2006 3:50:46 PM

Can you imagine how depressed The Plank's crew must've been when Marty started, well, um, contributing?

Posted by: Petey | Apr 10, 2006 10:59:54 PM

Ehh, I like Marty. I think he has something useful to say at least half the time, so his occasional late night "Fools! I'll Destroy them all!" uninterrupted blogging sessions don't bother me.

And I think he's right about the Walt/Mearshimer thing.

Posted by: Dustin | Apr 11, 2006 3:42:12 AM

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