Saturday, December 1, 2012

Catholic Social Teaching: It’s Time to End the Misrepresentations


  1. Dear Professor Esolen, I started to read this very important article and stopped reading it to comment.

    Learn to paragraph.

    The standard for internet writing is one-sentence paragraphs.

    You have severely under the readability of your article by writing a massive Wall Of Text.

    Long paragraphs are fine in books and scholarly articles.

    They are simply counter-productive for blog articles read in a browser.

    There is good reason for writing one-sentence paragraphs.

    Those of us who follow our interests on the intarwebs scan hundreds of articles and process hundreds of thousands of words every day.

    Basically, we are speed readers.

    If you don't grab readers right off the bat you lose them.

    They don't have time to plow through dense paragraphs. When they see them, they flee.

    One-sentence paragraphs allow a reader to rapidly skim for what is important.

    One need not be rigid about the one-sentence standard, but three sentences is about the maximum.

    The subversion of Catholic Social teaching to partisan political ends is a burning issue for me and for many concerned Catholics.

    We need thoughts like yours, and we need them to be easily readable.

    I was going to make this just a comment. I have changed my mind.

    I request you go back and re-format your article asap.

    1. Athanasius, with all due respect, you've got to be kidding me. You are criticizing Dr. Esolen for writing too deeply? (Oh, and I realize I am violating your one sentence rule.) Do yourself a favor and go read a book called "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr in which he talks about how consuming information via the internet is changing the way our brain processes information (and the author is not a technological Luddite). I, for one, appreciate any article that forces me to think deeply and consume material with more effort. I also find using resources like "Readability" (a web article conversion site) very helpful for articles like Dr. Esolen's. Oh, and though you think you're processing thousands of words a day, most likely it is very superficial with little recall of the consumed information.

  2. I was able to read and understand it just fine, Prof. Esolen. Thank you for your clear and passionate articulation which I respond to with a resounding, "YES, what he said!!" It is indeed difficult to articulate all of this so thoroughly and clearly, but you have done a fine job.