I love Slate, I really do, and I typically don’t have any problems with their columnists or contributing writers (I used to have a strong dislike for Meghan O’Rourke thinking she was arrogant, but she’s grown on me). I wanted to read the article on Sarah Palin’s college fiasco, but was a little overwhelmed by the first paragraph – so I decided to put it off for now. What stands out about that paragraph? First, there are far too many links on it. Blogging and Internet writing has effectively killed off the art (if it is actually an art) of citation. The convenience of hyperlinking text has gone a little too far, as pictured above. How does one even digest a piece of information without being bombarded by links with references to what is being said? I have an idea. The author should either write assuming the reader knows what he or she is talking about, or feel free to add that extra sentence or two hinting at what’s being discussed instead of linking to another article. That is far too huge a distraction. Lastly, there are the parantheses. While I’m a big fan of those little buggers, too many can visually chop up a written piece.

If you can brave that paragraph, find the article here.

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