Is good language proficiency all you need for a good article?

I seem to have lost my flair for writing impromptu for I haven�t been able to cook up a decent beginning since some ten and five minutes off the clock. Does that make me a bad writer then? Good or bad I leave my comment crew to decide, all I know is that I need more lemonade as a starter too cool off my grey cells in Karachi�s sizzling summer season. (44 degrees�..dam).

Now that I’ve religiously gulped down two glassfuls, I think I’ll let my random thought process do it’s magic. So for the sake of asking, does good grammatical usage ensure a good article? HHmmm��.. I think I’m ‘almost’ completely sure that it doesn’t. True a good usage of vocabulary does spice up an article. It’s like having home-made mango chutney with dal chawal( ��scrumptious), but I doubt whether you�d want the same chutney with halway puree and kabab paratha too��., some might, but others might barf at the very idea.

I remember an English language teacher of mine once advised me to keep a dictionary by my side every time I were to undertake the task of reading. It seemed to me then as the most annoying habit since the flow of reading would be ruined every time I�d make a quick search of the word for it�s precise meaning. A friend of mine though, kept up with this irritating habit, and though she isn�t academically strong, her control over words and their usage is superb. While I still have to run around the house looking for a dictionary while reading a slightly difficult book, ‘my friend’ gloats at her prior knowledge of the grammar.

So there, I’ve said part of my pre-mature opinion on the topic, good grammatical usage does assist writing at times. But the article itself banks first on it’s main plot, and secondly on the way the writers’ thoughts have been put down in ink. Expressing oneself well, should not be confused with using bright flowery language. It simply means whether expressed simply or not, the thoughts should be clear to the reader.

So if you were to say you like cats, as opposed to ‘you adore the feline family’, you’d be a hundred percent correct, an extremely well expressed either way. The only objection your reader could have here, is your love for the cats. That objection, is perfectly comprehendable.

It’s a separate issue altogether, and a very important one too. Whereas the writer needs to get a certain thought process across, care must be taken that the article doesn’t get too one sided. One must never force one’s opinion on others, or make others seem so. The reason one usually writes about a certain issue is because they feel moved- to write- and they wish to share their thoughts with others. Thus if one introduces a certain perspective in a subtle way, one is more likely to be listened to. The readers may not always accept your way of thinking, but they�d be more comfortable with appreciating the effort you took to scribble down your thoughts.

Ending with the question I began with, Is good language proficiency all you need for a good article. I don’ quite think so. What about you?

5 Replies to “Is good language proficiency all you need for a good article?”

  1. If I wanna eat a plate of daal chawal and some one takes me to Dominos for a free pan of pizza, I guess i wont be satisfied & i guess the writer has well understood my point with this example… no matter in wat language you write, english or minglish or urdu..just see wat the readers want and can understand…..That article from bilal akhter which was in urdu..was well appreciated..cuz it was far more understandable than those written in english only the masters can understand ..Sidra and asim are among one of those “Mushkil English” writers…

    Magar ..they write good..all they need is to go down to the level of a common reader!!

  2. There is a test known as TASP, here TASP stands for Texas academic skills program. A guy, who scored 1400 in SAT failed to pass such an easy test just because he did not know how to convey ideas using easy vocabulary.
    Anyways, a nice article.

  3. We all agree with it, but i dont see anyone working on it, we still try to show our proficiency in the language (mind you i’m not commenting on sidrah or aasim), but we should write in a way that our IGNORANT FELLOW readers can read. (sorry Ma’am Shamim….)

  4. if the talk iz bout vocabulary, 1 shud not 4get that ur vocabulary shud match ur level. as u proceed, ur language must also improve, no matter if its urdu or english.
    bieng in a textile university, where u come across foriegners, i suppose v shud be good in english.

  5. I think the writer has put it down in quite simple words. Is good language proficiency THE ONLY THING required to write a good article?

    Most of us would agree to that. However, it is mandatory that any author doesn’t make basic grammatical errors in his or her compositions. Such errors apart from disrupting the flow of the reader also tend to divert the reader’s attention from the actual topic that is being discussed.

    I agree that the matter should be precise and simple enough to be understood by anyone but that does not mean that authors can go on writing whatever they feel like, in any fashion they choose, just so that their audience may understand their point better.

    In the case of quack it’s more like a two way affair. I personally have nothing to lose when writing an article with, so called, difficult vocabulary because I know that the people I tend to target with my criticism will get the message loud and clear. As far as those who don’t wish to benefit are concerned, they can choose to ignore it and rely on their usual style. Unless both parties make a determined effort to help each other out, not much can be achieved.

    It must be noted that the only place the style of using broken english seems to be working is for informal use. Before it can be put into any practical use, the matter has to go through several layers of editing and often the editor has to GUESS what the author is trying to say altogether!(Refer to the editor of Talking Textures)

    In other words, if a person doesn’t check basic grammatical errors while writing a script, he may not be able to correctly convey his message in the first place. If that happens, then whether the article has been written using simple terms or difficult vocabulary, all efforts go to waste. Or perhaps….all efforts go in vain!

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