Mailvox: the monthly plea

BE sounds a familiar theme:

Great article on the 31st. This is the second time I’ve written you. The first time was about three years ago and I ripped you on an article. I don’t read you much because I think you have a shallow view of politics but it seems you’ve rankled some hairs with this one so I thought I’d take a look…

I agree with what you said but if you can take a little constructive critisism, I’d just like to make a point. You seem to have evolved into a very intellectual man but when I read this, I kept saying to myself “I’m the only one I know that would read this article all the way through”. The reason being that you write above most people’s vocabulary. I could cut and paste examples where you could have stated things more simply and succinctly but if you look for yourself, you will see many times where you could have used different language(more friendly to the great uneducated) than you did. You’re a very smart guy and you have a lot to say, so if you want it to be heard(read) I’m just thinking that you need to dumb it down a little so not just people like me will stay with it. I’m sure you won’t take offense at this and I wish you all the best.

I take no offense, as I never mind constructive criticism. In fact, I tend to find a good deal of amusement in this recurring theme of mass illiteracy. The fact of the matter is that I neither expect everyone to agree with me nor care if everyone agrees with me, so going out of my way to make my writing perfectly accessible to the lowest-common denominator simply isn’t going to happen. I tried it once at the request of my then-syndicate when newspaper editors informed them that the sentence structure of my columns was too complex for their readerships, and I found it took 3x more time than simply writing the way I happen to write. So, it’s not going to happen, and therefore my columns and podcasts shall remain media products for niche markets.

If BE thinks the columns are overly esoteric, I wonder what he must make of the Voxonomics podcasts? But I do appreciate his concern and am ever so relieved that he found the more recent column more to his liking.