If we stay in this course as we stayed at school we will probably find ourselves out of the course. The same word course should be forgotten.
The course has assignments but this does not means that all the assignments have to be done. One should write when feeling to have something useful to offer or something to ask for help, not just to have an assignment done.
We have not to write for the teacher (or against the teacher …) but to give something to others and, eventually, to receive something back.
Words are very important. Knowledge cannot be always stored in words but, at any rate, words are a very powerful instrument to transmit knowledge. All powerful instruments should be used with parsimony. The minimum possible number of words that preserves a message is also the optimal number to transmit it in its entirety. More words will obfuscate it. Too many words may even annoy the reader.
The course is huge: long posts have less probability to be read.
Perhaps it is not bad to recall the six writing rules suggested by George Orwell.
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Moreover, this is an international course. For many of us, English is the second language and not all of us had an optimal English education. If native english speakers indulge in affectation some participants may be cut off.
The success of this course depends much on the yearning to share ideas and experiences, not on the desire to show its own smartness or, worse, its own pugnacious skills.