Dwindling Paragraphs

Image by Manchester Monkey

Image by Manchester Monkey

Today’s digital web threatens the very existence of expository style. Consider the plight of the traditional paragraph.

What makes a good paragraph? The expression of a complete idea.

Though writing experts acknowledge that new media cause the ever diminishing paragraph, they still recommended writers communicate one idea per block of sentences.

However, the destruction of parenthetical form continues, pushed forward by the increasing presence of smaller mobile screens and blogs.

We increasingly see single sentence paragraphs. That will not change with continuing media evolution.

A paragraph in the traditional sense — one thought out idea — doesn’t stand a chance online anymore. I’m not talking about a blogger’s cheeky three sentence piece of wit. I’m talking about real paragraphs, full bodied pieces of thought from the likes of Steinbeck. Even Hemingway’s then short and now long paragraphs offer a testimony to thought in paragraph form.

Today, full bodied thoughts have no place in our media.

Instead we move line to line, dancing through a linear thought splayed out over white space.

If the paragraph in it’s traditional sense is dead, then what will happen when we use voice and video as our primary vehicles for exchanging ideas?

What do you think?