I often find that people object to the tone of what I write. I am sometimes called ‘snide’ or something of that sort. This is revealing.
If you have never read it, may I point you towards Graham’s How to Disagree. It is a decade old this year but as relevant as ever, accurately describing many, if not most, of the disagreements that take place on Twitter and in the comment threads of blogs. For Graham, responding to the tone of an argument is only one step above launching a personal attack. As Graham explains:
“So if the worst thing you can say about something is to criticize its tone, you’re not saying much. Is the author flippant, but correct? Better that than grave and wrong. And if the author is incorrect somewhere, say where.”
This is a key point. I am not claiming that my writing has no…
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