Apart from in “Just a minute”, where the rules forbid it, hesitation, repetition, and deviation can often be used to positive effect.

Hesitators like Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus waited for the right moment to intervene in battle [1. His nickname “Cunctator” refers to his tactics in deploying the troops during the Second Punic War.]

Speech makers pause to emphasise a point, er um, but quite tricky in writing. Repetition is used by composers to create interesting patterns which apparently have no analogue in speech. Great composers, like Handel blatantly recycle material – but by virtue of their greatness can get away with it. And deviation seems to be central to the meandering convoluted plots of nordic crime writing, which are currently all the rage (unless I am the only that gets utterly lost.)

But repetition can be really really annoying. For example retweeting is top of my list and seems to me to be way too easy to abuse. Repetition or simply copying & pasting other people’s blog posts is another example. And an even worse crime if they are your own.

It is easy to add something to a story, lift the lid on it – crit it, even gush about it, but add something interesting. You don’t have to be on facebook to provoke a reaction, which can be as simple as posing a question (I do this a lot and make sure I turn comments off).

We’re so insensed by repetition here at OurLocality that we have raised a petition to get Government to disable copy and paste functions in all computers to encourage original writing. We’ve got schools and Universities to support this, as copying and pasting also encourages uncritical plagiarism.

So, if you haven’t got a lot to say, or simply love the concision of TXT, consider using Twitter; if you are mainly communicating with your mates of a community of interest, but a few paras short of a full story or just cannot be bothered, then Facebook is pretty good too, I am told. Despite the immediacy of both these channels, they are pretty transient, so bear this in mind.

The advantage of the blog or post on your website is, and this is not always fully understood, that the record of articles is easily searchable and retrieved at a later date, it can be edited later and the presentation is entirely under your control.

Don’t duplicate posts. It is really bad form, confuses search engines and ordinary citizens alike (not just old folk like me), pollutes and degrades the value of our news feeds, looks like SPAM.

Ourlocality Moderators delete duplicate posts from newsfeeds – you have been warned.