A matter of words

words2I love words. To me, they carry meaning. The way they fall one after the other to create a smooth canvas is magical. Ofcourse, not everyone has that talent. But words are meant to be there for some reason, to add some value, to convey a meaning. It is not meant to be a haphazard collage, with fancy words thrown in. Neither should it be littered with the same words over and over so the Google trawlers can track your page out of the zillions around.

Yes, it would be nice if your page got the views. But why compromise with the quality by succumbing to mindless search engine optimisation (SEO). If you are good, if you have anything of value to say, over time you will get the recognition – atleast I would like to believe so. Yes, I am an idealist. And I refuse to succumb to the what has now become a fad.

Working in the online domain, it is sad that numbers have become everything. It’s true more hits translate to more money. And yes, I need my share of the money pie too. But does that mean exercising no editorial judgement, and publishing anything and everything. What value does a story about twitter trends or viral videos impart? If this is all then why call ourselves journalists, we should rather be called marketers – at least it would pay more.

Also, why bother with funny and quirky headlines. Why have puns when Google can’t interpret them. Why rack your brains for that perfect headline that fits in the allotted slot when SEO demands redundancy. Why not just let a computer program give you title combinations based on trending keywords.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like an Ayn Rand novel – a world where the Toohey’s are dumbing down the audience, redefining mediocre as the great and burying the truly great pieces by telling us constantly about short attention spans.

And while we are on the topic of words, I’m not your dear or darling – those words that your casually throw around matter to me. They are for the select few and not for the crowd.

But then I’m part of the tiny minuscule that cares about the sanctity of words. Only if you have experienced their magic can you understand why this post matters. But then maybe it is too much to ask, maybe I should just go back to the Victorian Age.

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