A thoughtful review of a timely book
E-mail in particular and online writing in general have their well-known flaws and limitations, but they have also served as cleansing agents for prose, much as journalistic writing did early in the 20th century. That is, while they may disinhibit inappropriate declarations, they also inhibit dull, abstract wordiness.
Early in his book, Freeman writes, “No one can predict the future of a technology, and this book is certainly not going to try, but it is essential, especially when that technology has become as prevalent and pervasive as e-mail, to examine its effects and assumptions and make an attempt to understand it in a broader context.”
Maybe the best thing I can say about e-mail is that I can’t imagine anyone using it to compose such a sentence.