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What you think you write is not necessarily what others read

September 10th, 2009

I’ve spent a good many years now trying to communicate through the written word and I can honestly say that it is very very difficult. I have lost count of the number of times that people have misunderstood what I have written. Writing is not the same as conversation although good writing has a conversational style to it. The time I tend to be misunderstood the most is when I have to write a quick email to someone because quick emails tend to look harsh and aggressive. As we try to shorten something in to as few words as possible we can easily lose the true meaning of what we are trying to convey. Although there is always a fine line between writing too much (which can also get us into trouble) and writing too little.

I think this has major implications for Christians. When we write something for the web we run the risk of being misunderstood. When we respond to a forum or blog entry which we disagree with then we stand a chance of upsetting people without realising it. Of course early emailers understood this problem and invented smilies but these have been so abused that they have now become almost useless and the same with texters and such things as lol.

So I want to make an appeal to Christians to try and find ways of writing in a more sensitive way – especially when touching on spiritual issues with non-Christians.

Thoughts