The grand object of putting language on paper of writing that others may read is to give to the reader the ideas in the mind of the writer. This cannot be done if the writing is il- legible. A large part of the annoyance of editors those who attempt to give to the public the ideas of their correspondents through, the organs (papers) they conduct is occasioned by + the neglect of their correspondents to write legibly. Xot in- . frequently we receive articles containing facts that should see the light, and theories which should be brought to the notice p of our thinkers ; but they are frequently presented in such a g garb that it is more than they are worth to pick out the , grains of wheat from the ocean of chaff. Many of these com- t munications have been laid quietly aside in our oblivion box, which if presented in any reasonable shape would have appeared in our columns. We do not allude only to valuable . communications from those who have never had the advantage of a grammar school and do not understand the rules of orthography, but to those wlio have an idea on mechanical or scientific subjects but are themselves befogged and do not know how to present it_4 simply "because they clo not tinder* p stand at 1 If one has an idea, he should thoroughly understand it himself before he attempts to impart it to others. If he cannot put it into grammatical or journalistic form, that is his misfortune, and on this paper, as least, will not prevent him from a hearing from the great public reached by the Scientific American ; but if he does not, himself, understand what he attempts to write about, it is too much to require that the editors of the the paper should do the work which his incompetency prevents him from accomplishing. If correspondents of newspapers and magazines would consider, never so slightly, the labor they impose upon editors in sending illegible and incongruous articles intended for publication they would take some pains to prepare their articles for their insertion.
This article was originally published with the title "Write Legibly and Intelligently"