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Writing on the Internet

Many years ago, I read an anecdote somewhere about an American working in an Asian country who was extremely frustrated with communication challenges. One day, he felt he was finally getting somewhere and said "I think we are thinking along parallel lines."

To his surprise and pleasure, his Asian colleague agreed with that assessment. When it again became apparent at a later date that they remained at an impasse, he referenced that conversation and his colleague said "Parallel lines never meet."
The internet is probably the most extremely diverse community that has ever existed and this extreme diversity compounds a lot of problems.
Learning to write well for things posted to the internet has proven to be more challenging than I expected. I think the extreme diversity of the audience is a factor there.

It makes it very challenging for saying something clearly in a way that will not be very wildly misinterpreted by a great many people and to add to the fun the same thing can be very wildly misinterpreted in a wide variety of ways.

I'm an American from the Deep South and a former military wife. People not familiar with Southern culture or not familiar with military culture seem to wildly misinterpret my meaning at times and it's taken me a lot of years to parse what some of the worst pitfalls are even for speaking effectively to other Americans.

It can help to clearly define your topic and audience not only in your own mind but also somewhere in your article or on your website. This will not completely prevent bizarre misinterpretations but it should mitigate the worst of it.

It can also help to make sure to supply context. This is part of why this website exists and has a couple of pages about me and my websites.

I am trying to help people understand who I am and what I do so they can better understand my writing and my work if they so desire. It's not really about me. It's just to help people better figure out the meaning of my words on the internet.

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