Other folks have probably written essays on how hypertext has influenced writing style in other media. Here I’d like to briefly discuss how working with and correcting document markup to make it conform to the semantic intent of the W3C standards has influenced and is influence my writing style.
When I write in e-mail, I tend to use a lot more bullets (No, I make them by hand using the * character. I avoid using HTML-based mail for good reasons.) to summarize and focus my points. I think more about why I am bolding or italicizing something–is it a book title or am I quoting someone famous? On long documents I think about using headings and subheadings; this helps me to focus my thoughts and cut away the inessential or emphasise it and bring it into focus. Dealing with the meaning of markup has really made me think about how I organize own writing and thoughts. It’s weird.