To be clear, I love The Hunger Games trilogy and think Collins did a fantastic job writing for the masses. Goins is right, when writing for mass populations of people it’s important to speak simply, and be concise. When people are reading for pleasure or looking for info on the web, they want their information or entertainment to come to them without laborious thought. Goins claims that “the burden of proof has shifted.
If simplifying things is effective writing for 21st century audiences, what’s the conflict? As you know, I’m a teacher, and I don’t want you to be stupid, or sound stupid either. In an academic or university level class, I expect that when students come across diction they don’t understand, they look it up. In a world of accessible information, you literally have the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in your pocket or purse.
I don’t want you to be stupid, or sound stupid either.
The ultimate goal is self-sufficiency. The independent, self-directed learner who knows the resources available to them has an inherent leverage over his or her peers. In the Future Forum’s Project, we’re inviting technology into the classroom to create self-directed students, who, with the aid of the internet, have no limits. So the reason I don’t dumb it down for my students is so they learn to take initiative and responsibility of your own learning. Hopefully they’ll be able to surpass the “grade 6 thought level,” while understanding its value in connecting with audiences.