A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #102

Pay attention to what you are literally saying. Pay attention to what your words mean, not just what you intend them to mean. Students come to me constantly with their graded papers in hand whining, “Well, what I meant to say was . . .” or “But you know what I meant to say.” Sorry, it is your job to mean what you say and to say what you mean, and it is my job to play the innocent, unsuspecting reader. I must respond to what I read on the page. My task is not to give you the benefit of the doubt and not to read into your confused words what I want you to mean.

— from the section “Say What You Mean– Mean What You Say” in the chapter “Choosing Words” in Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave’s Guide to Writing the College Paper by David R. Williams.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.