One of the biggest mysteries to me as a writer is this paradox: when asked what they're looking for above all else, literary agents and publishers will talk about Voice, and specifically, fresh new voices.
Yet most of the recent novels I've read recently have felt as if they could have been written by the same person - or even the same AI algorithm. There's very little out there that feels original in terms of Voice (if you must) or what used to be called style.
The homogenisation of language is observable wherever you turn. From novel straplines /Three painful secrets. Two passionate hearts. One forbidden love)
through to clickbait headlines through to comments on social media through to newspaper articles.
And in the world of advertising, as this excellent article
by Shai Idelson makes clear.
Predictive text is partly to blame, and worse still, what I call assumptive text (all those "Happy for you" "Congrats! Let's catch up" "What an achievement!" suggestions that pop up on something like LinkedIn)
But at the root of it is human laziness. It's so much easier to click on an off-the-shelf suggestion than think up something original and personal.
Please - let's not allow the richness of the English language (or any other language, for that matter) to be reduced to the superficiality of emojis.
Post a Comment