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The Controversial Use of Gonna in Writing: Understanding Bias and Context

Bias against the Use of “Gonna” in WritingIn the world of writing and communication, certain colloquial abbreviations are frowned upon, and “gonna” is one that often finds itself at the center of debate. This informal abbreviation of “going to” has long been criticized for its lack of formality and perceived laziness.

However, it is important to understand the reasons behind this bias and consider the implications of its usage in different contexts, such as in publications and political speech. Reasons for Bias:


Lack of Formality: The primary reason for bias against the use of “gonna” in writing is its informal nature. In formal writing, such as academic papers or professional correspondence, a serious and concise tone is expected.

The use of colloquial abbreviations, like “gonna,” can undermine the credibility of the writer. 2.

Clarity and Precision: Another reason often cited for the bias against “gonna” is the potential loss of clarity and precision. “Going to” clearly communicates an intention or future action, while “gonna” may be misinterpreted or misunderstood by readers who are not familiar with the abbreviation.

Bias in Publications:

1. Quoted Speech: In certain circumstances, such as transcribed interviews or direct quotations, the use of “gonna” in publications can be justified.

It reflects the original speech pattern and captures the authenticity of the speaker. However, it is essential for writers and editors to strike a balance between preserving the speaker’s voice and maintaining the publication’s formal tone.

2. Written Works: When it comes to publications like newspapers, magazines, or books, the use of “gonna” is typically discouraged.

It is expected that published works adhere to a higher standard of formality and linguistic precision. This maintains the quality and professionalism of the writing.

Implications of Changing “Gonna” in Political Speech:

1. Mitt Romney’s Speech: In 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for U.S. President, was caught on camera saying, “I’m not gonna worry about those people.” This statement garnered significant attention and was criticized for its lack of seriousness and formality.

The use of “gonna” in political speech can undermine the candidate’s perceived competence and diminish the impact of their message. 2.

Formal Tone: Political speech plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion, and the thoroughness and seriousness of the discourse are of utmost importance. The use of “gonna” in political speech can create an impression of casualness or lack of preparedness, leading to potential loss of credibility.

The Use of “Gonna” in Informal Writing:

Examples from Informal Writing:

1. LeBron James: In an ad campaign, LeBron James used “gonna” in his slogan, “You gotta be a hater.

You ain’t gotta be a believer. You just gotta know that we gonna be real.” This highlights the use of ‘gonna’ to convey a sense of confidence and a connection with the real world.

2. Horace Greeley’s Quote: The famous quote “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country” was originally written by Horace Greeley in an article titled “North by Northeast.” It was later republished in the New York Tribune.

Despite its informal tone, Greeley’s use of “gonna” captures the energy and spirit of the time, resonating with readers even today. Appropriateness of “Gonna” in Informal Writing:

While “gonna” is often discouraged in formal writing, it finds its natural place in informal writing, where an informal tone is expected.

In casual conversations, personal emails, or texts to friends, using “gonna” is appropriate and can establish a sense of familiarity between the writer and the reader. It adds flavor and authenticity to the text, making it more relatable and engaging.

In conclusion, the use of “gonna” in writing is a contentious issue, with some arguing against its informal nature and others embracing it as a valid colloquial abbreviation. While it is generally discouraged in formal writing due to its lack of seriousness and perceived laziness, the use of “gonna” finds acceptance in informal writing where an informal tone is expected.

As writers and communicators, it is important to be aware of the context and audience, choosing appropriate language that conveys our message effectively while maintaining credibility and clarity. In conclusion, the bias against the use of “gonna” in writing is rooted in its informality and potential loss of clarity and precision.

While it is generally discouraged in formal publications, its usage can be justified in quoted speech or informal writing where an informal tone is expected. However, in political speech and serious writing, the use of “gonna” can diminish credibility and undermine the impact of the message.

As writers, it is essential to strike a balance between preserving authenticity and adhering to the appropriate level of formality. Ultimately, understanding the implications and appropriateness of “gonna” in different contexts enhances our ability to effectively communicate while maintaining credibility and professionalism.

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