If you are lucky, you probably know what good writing is. If you don’t, stop reading right now, and run towards the nearest place with books where you can read Lolita or East of Eden or Catch-22. Or something. There are lots of things you should read.

You may also have encountered bad writing. This kind of writing is prolific and various. Perhaps it was a paper thrust on you in class during peer review whose author should desperately follow the recommendation above, or who has clearly overdosed on someone else’s words and is talentlessly stealing them. Maybe you were looking through your old stuff and found a paper you wrote sometime ago and were absolutely shocked that you dared to turn it in at the time. Or maybe you’ve joined the crazy and read Twilight.

There is a kind of bad writing which transcends bad, horrible and atrocious and simply becomes amazing.

Here is an example of it, from a magazine letter asking me to continue subscribing:
“You’ll renew more than a magazine. You’ll renew your commitment to the way you want to live. Because every issue delivers insights on so many of the things you enjoy most… from get-sexy secrets and man-melting movies to hundreds of fashion finds and beauty tricks.

Guaranteed to release the fun, fearless and fabulous female you truly are”


So many things so wrong here, I just want to scream. And renew my subscription, of course!


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