Writing Style of WTBTS

by Band on the Run 18 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Witness literature has never had a nice flow to it. A family member was a Maoist and had these perfect English pamphlets prepared by a foreign government. The grammar was perfect. The vocabulary words were good. Nevertheless, no native English speaker ever uttered such words. The Witnesses are similar. The writing is stilted and uniform in tone. It has improved very slightly over time.

    My brother and I convulse in laughter describing illustrations in the WT and the orange book, dating myself.

    Questions I never thought I could ask: how do they do it? why do they do it? Idiots cannot write they do. Why not write in a more compelling fashion?

  • donnye

    I normally throw the watchtower across the room when I read something sarcastic like... "Jesus said ................... He didn't say ............. DID HE?". There is a sister in my old congregation that speaks like that during her wt answers too - it is really belittling, can't stand this sort of sarcasm - hardly necessary.

  • wobble

    Their writing style, peurile to say the least, must put most people off, so please do not encourage them to improve on it.

  • Listener

    Their overuse of exclamation marks gets to me.

  • SirNose586

    I've always noted a very condescending tone about things, and I felt the sentence length and structure could use some variation from time to time. I know they're working off a style manual; they should use a better one.

  • blondie

    Have you ever read the writing style in Rutherford's time? The vocabulary is very similar...e.g., honesthearted ones, overcomers, etc. Sometimes that is due to the Bible translations they used then (no NWT until 1950 and only parts until 1961). Writers today tend to copy from older articles to CYA. At times when I first got the CD I found whole paragraphs lifted from older pubs and inserted into current articles. Rutherford had legal training and you can tell it from his style. All this has filtered into articles year after year. "Jehovah" was used less in Russell's writings but pumped up in Rutherford's when he started pushing the 1931 Jehovah's witnesses name and distancing himself from "Bible Students." Rutherford pushed "vindicating God's name" a teaching that was finally dropped and acknowledged in 1995.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I did not know about the doctrinal change in 1995. May I ask briefly what was decided? It was the central tenet of Witnesses to me.. I was just a child and tween. Tween got me into problem. No, it actually started in fifth grade. It doesn't boggle my mind because the Witnesses change everything all the time. It shocks me that the mass of Witnesses never wonder why all the changes. If this is Jehovah's instruction, why worship Jehovah? These people die believing the lastest on bloood and other doctrines. My family suffered greatly for being Witnesses. Actually, my mom was raised in Rutherford's time and Knorr;s, Franz, and we lost count. She said the Society was much better when it was small and had some intimacy. Vindicating God's Name sounds like a campaign slogan -- what does it mean?

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Blondie and others have called them out for one of their major abuses -- unattributed quotes -- which, along with out-of-context quotations are their greatest journalistic abuses. I'd love to see what a REAL editor, i.e. like someone from the New York Times, would do to their copy.

  • Heaven

    They have a formula. It's the same as it was when I was a kid. The article starts off with an ok feeling then about 1/3 of the way through, everything goes bad and by the end of the article, your only salvation is through Jehovah and his organization.

    I find it very difficult to get past about the first 1/3 of the article. I don't read them anymore. They're not well done and they annoy me with their wacky assumptions and conclusions. They make wild leaps that I just don't follow. My brain says "No. That's not what that means at all." That's where they lose me.

  • DagothUr

    We have in Romanian an expression which is used when speaking of the communist writing style: "wooden language". The wooden-language had a lot of words and expressions that never changed and were often used in all communist countries, in all years between 1917 and 1989: war between classes, socialist revolution, communist era, self-criticism, marxist dialectic, golden age, wonderful accomplishments, glorious era, most advanced in the world, path to communism, comrade, burgeois, imperialist scum, etc.

    The JW language is heavily loaded, so it it a form of wooden language too: theocratic warfare, Jehovah, sanctify, worthy, field service, meeting, Armaggeddon, faithful and discreet slave, the annointed, the other sheep, elder, ministerial servant, congress, overseer, new world, eternal life, etc. All religions have their own wooden language.

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