Bards Of the Internet

If E-mail represents the renaissance of prose, why is so much of it so awful?

One of the unintended side effects of the invention of the telephone was that writing went out of style. Oh, sure, there were still full-time scribblers -- journalists, academics, professional wordsmiths. And the great centers of commerce still found it useful to keep on hand people who could draft a memo, a brief, a press release or a contract. But given a choice between picking up a pen or a phone, most folks took the easy route and gave their fingers -- and sometimes their mind -- a rest.

Which makes what's happening on the computer networks all the more startling....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!