When earnest inquirers want to know why I have a blog, one of my ready answers goes something as follows: "It lets me write for people outside my field." But blogging gives me space to do something else: indulge in stylistic tics that, however near and dear to my heart, must fall prey to the executioner's axe in my professional writing. For example:
- I rather tend to somewhat overqualify my statements.
- I have--a fondness for dashes--of which Dickinson--would be proud--
- There's something to be said for parenthetical asides (really).
- Many of us enjoin our students to use transition words. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as too many transitions. Indeed, some would argue that transition words can create the illusion of logical structure where none exists. That being said, transition words sometimes prove addictive.
Some of these tics are bleed-throughs from my conversational style into my prose--the qualifiers, for example, which I use when I'm being ironic (or sarcastic, or sardonic). Others, however, sprang full-grown from, if not Jupiter's skull, then my word processor. I feel a little protective of my tics; after all, they have become, for better or for worse, part of my blogging "voice." At the same time, these tics feel "unofficial" or "private," whereas my professional prose enjoys official status (not least because my professional writing gets rewarded in a way that the blog doesn't). The irony, though, is that I imagine more people read my unofficial prose than they do my official prose...