Some writers have no idea what they’re trying to say

Is it just me, or has the dramatic shift from reading on paper to reading on a screen — and, even more dramatically, to reading on a mobile screen — had a detrimental effect on written logic, reasoning and rhetorical skills? I’ve begun thinking so increasingly frequently, especially with every online feature or thinkpiece I give up on or, after slogging all the way through, walk away from wondering, “What the heck was that all about? What exactly was the writer trying to say?”

Of course, this happens regularly on social media like Twitter, where a large number of comments are offered up for consumption with little or no context, leaving the Tweeter’s intent a mystery.

But I’ve been noticing it more and more on online news and magazine features: there are a whole lot of words and time devoted to making an argument… I guess. But what that argument is, I have no idea.

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