Copyblogger is weblog about writing. A recent post discussed the problems with writing for an online audience as if one was writing an essay, and went on to say: "Your new media writing should sound like your everyday speech, albeit a more precise, polished version." then suggests ". . . that’s why we revise and edit."
Mr. Lash isn't wrong; we should write as we speak, of course - it's more engaging. The problem is, the latter advice can be at odds with the former for a lot of people. We can't edit while we speak. If we could, we wouldn't be speaking, we'd be thinking. Thinking instead of speaking is not necessarily a bad thing, everybody knows a few people who could stand to do more of the former and less of the latter. But eventually it gets in the way of having a conversation.
William Zinsser points out in On Writing Well that many people don't want to edit or wordsmith their work, because "it's not their style." The issue is that unfortunately, in conversation, we have the chance to not edit, but to explain. In writing, we only get one chance to say it, so we'd better say it well.
I think Lash gets his advice backwards. Our writing should be natural, but it should also be clear, understandable and, if possible, concise. That means it probably should also be grammatically correct and correctly spelled. After all, if you're writing weblog articles, you're speaking to the public, presumably with the intention of having us understand something. We can't understand you if your writing is poorly thought out, misspelled, and incoherent.
All that being said, I don't believe incoherence is what Mr. Lash is promoting, and the article's well worth reading despite the problem I have with it. I will say, however, that relying on English professors to teach how to write is about as silly as relying on Computer Science professors to teach how to fix computers. If that assertion surprises you, you should find some professors of CS and ask them.