On July 31, 2014, I received the following short letter on my email account. I have quoted it here in its entirety, exactly as written:
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the clarity of your writing. I know this isn't the point but most of the correspondence I get is full of errors of all sorts. I don't think I'm a grammatical snob but, if I'm reading something for content, I find it so disconcerting to have the sentences (or, interrupted), I wanna scream.
In fact, yours may be the only writings I get (antigrammatical?) in which I have neither an interest nor curiosity, but jump into said writing and think I've learned something when I've finished.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know. I have never signed up for Tweetle and can't figure out how to work with Facebook, and that's why I'm just putting it into an email. So there."
The very first thing I did upon receiving it (Yes, it really IS a real letter) was to write back to the sender to express my sincere thanks for what had to be just about the very finest compliments any writer could ever hope to receive - that what I had written was consistently good enough to hold the attention of even someone who had no prior interest in or curiosity about its subject matter, and that after the reader had finished reading it, she felt like she had learned something!
Now, I know that it's fun and very tempting for you trolls out there (and even those who aren't really trolls, but just enjoy an occasional good scrap) to say that it's easy to impress somebody who knows nothing about the subject and that, if they're unknowing enough AND gullible enough, it's even easy to make them feel like they've learned something. I know, also, that the very next words out of your mouths are going to be "that's why they believe in_______." (Go ahead, fill the blank. Plug in "cables", "AC power conditioners", the Easter Bunny", or whatever else you'd like.)
The fact of it, though, is that an awful lot of articles get written - not just by me, but by everybody - and the number of people who don't learn from them or even understand them is mind-boggling!