Chasing a trophy & other things

a shiny trophy of a figure holding a star, on a yellow soft-focus backgroun of a surface with another trophy & round glitter an confetti

I gave myself a new achievement trophy to chase today:
“one of my titles gets onto a recommended reading list posted by someone with a subscriber following > 1000.”

Anyone with a big audience finding & liking my books is a long shot. Like, moonshot level unlikely.

But hey. We got to the moon, didn’t we?

My writing is good enough, it’s powerful enough, and doggone it, people do sometimes like my books. So I think it’s a worthy challenge, even if it is a pie-in-the-sky trophy to set for myself.

In other news, I stumbled on the answer to a question I hadn’t asked yet about an annoying website trend. Why do so many websites lately read like someone trying to pad out their term paper to hit a word limit?

For example. Because. However. Therefore. In summary. In fact. Despite. Finally. Definitely. Certainly. Indeed. To summarize. To clarify. Nonetheless. (FFS SRSLY? Nonetheless?) That’s a sample list. It’s one of those “I know it when I read it” things, but there are lots of lists out there if you’re curious.

Has anyone else noticed the online proliferation of phrases that feel tacked onto sentences that don’t need them?

The reason for the sudden popularity of all this randomly thrown-in verbiage? In a word: SEO algorithms. I call them textual bloat, SEO analyzers call them transition words & gives a higher score if they’re present.

So I guess those SEO algorithms can fight it out with the Grammarly algorithms that urge people to punch up their writing, strip out padding & make their prose lean & mean.

Or, you know, maybe the trophy eventually will go to an AI/large learning model that writes nothing but lies. With loads of transition rod.

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