Today’s topic has been kicking around in my head for just a day or so, but I thought I’d jot it down and see what you all through about it.
In some blogs, there is a very serious tone: “Today we’re going to talk about the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and its treatment,” or “date rape is a pervasive problem that can only be solved if people stop dating,” or whatever.
And that’s good, really. Some topics require a serious tone, because they are, in fact, very serious topics.
But what about other, less soul-crushingly serious topics? Is it okay to treat them with humor? I ask because my own style lends itself to the quip, the jest, the mockumentary style of writing, and it got me wondering: is it wrong of me to treat things with such carefree whimsy? Is it right?
Or, is it disrespectful to the readers of my blog (all three of you, you know who you are) to constantly throw humor into the mix?
Does humor somehow negate any particular point that I might be trying to make—because let’s face it: sometimes I’m not trying to make a point, but when I am, does humor undercut it?
Does humor enhance the point I’m trying to make? Does it soften defenses, lower guards, insert additional metaphor here, and allow my end point to influence you, the reader, more easily or convincingly?
I guess what I’m trying to figure out is a style question: does my style fit my various topics? Those of you who might know me in real life may have a different point of view on this one, but for those of you who only know me through the writings that appear in this blog, let me ask you a question: what do you think?
So, now it’s internet experiment time. In the comments below, describe me—as you ‘see’ me—taking into account what you’ve read here and the impression that it makes on you. Does my style work for you? Why or why not? If yes, what stylistic aspects do you like? If not, does the content of the blog make up for the perceived shortcomings in the style?
These are things that readers think every time they read a blog, but often these thoughts go unsaid because they’re not the remarks people are looking for when they post something. Normally bloggers are expecting to get questions or comments on the topics being written about, which is great, as we’re supposed to be starting conversations. But sometimes the message can get lost, whether through atrocious grammar or the style in which it is presented or whatever and THAT is what I’m trying to get at here.
To quote my favorite band: “so much style without substance, so much stuff without style.”1
Does the STYLE overwhelm the SUBSTANCE, or does the SUBSTANCE make the difference, regardless of the STYLE.