Dank and Blight’s Elements of Style for Today’s Reader

Photo of a reader's books on a table, by freestocks on Unsplash

Chapter One

Times have changed. The attention span of today’s reader is known to be slightly less than that of a Junebug. As such, the volume of text required has lessened substantially. The amount of copy required to produce a meme is, in today’s world, sufficient for a technical whitepaper.

The reader is, simply put, an imbecile. You will have to find a way to live with that. Assume everything you write will be comprehended as if read to a fourteen-year-old, Dutch cat with severe hearing loss. You won’t be far off.

Today’s readers (if they can be referred to as such) have a peculiar aversion to books, knowledge, learning and—most notably—facts. Because of this, feel free to embellish on topics you have little to no knowledge of. Even if you supply an ample bibliography, your readers will find themselves unable to decipher it, leaving your “facts” as true as the sunrise.

Be concise. Not because the reader wants to skim rapidly, or because their time is a precious commodity, rather, because today’s reader hates reading and hates you.

Competence is your enemy. No reader wants to be informed. Learning is for Ivy League liberals, wayward homosexuals, and the Dutch.

Nothing in life is more irksome to the modern reader than the proper use of grammar. Grammar is akin to learning, manners, and other nuisances today’s reader feels to be rubbish. Rather than devote countless hours to the rote memorization of archaic grammatical rules, consider today’s simpler approach. Let us begin with an exploration of punctuation.

A modern reader’s punctuation guide.

  • Periods and commas are optional, especially when composing a tweet or text. Best to run on without pausing,
  • Exclamation points should be used liberally to show excitement. Insist on seven at a minimum. For maximum effect, use 30, interspersed with numeral ones, like so: “Dude!!!!!11!!!!11!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!”
  • Question marks, like their inbred cousin, the exclamation mark, are to be used in duos. End every question like a pro: “Sup??”
  • Parentheses, brackets, and other enclosures are to be avoided. Only the Dutch use them.
  • Quotation marks, like the Dutch, have no rules and no morals. Best to avoid them.

Stay tuned for Chapter Two