Mailvox: the red flag of punctuation

Liam the Obscure breaks his silence:

“I think taking a jab at punctuation or spelling always weakens your arguement.”

I don’t. I think systematically using improper punctuation and spelling brings the author’s ability to think and breadth of knowledge into question. The occasional typo or habitual error – I always want to write judgement, judgment just looks wrong to me – is a complete non-issue, but serial and simple mistakes are another matter.

This doesn’t necessarily discredit the author entirely, but it does serve to raise a red flag. One can be wise and ignorant, especially with the benefit of age and experience, but the two don’t generally go hand-in-hand.

In any event, I loathe all these “weakens your argument” assertions. An argument is as strong as it is, all the rest is just window dressing. If someone seriously thinks my case against socialized health care is weakened by my prediliction for calling Hillary Clinton “the Lizard Queen”, I have zero regard for their ability to reason. I’ve noticed that this school of thought often expresses the notion that Ann Coulter would be more “effective” if she would tone down her rhetoric, which is, of course, the height of idiocy given that it is Ann’s rhetoric and style which have made her the most successful political writer in the nation.