I read somewhere that Shakespeare would have been a complete dud had he been born fifty years earlier or fifty years later. His power was in his ability to exploit some rather profound changes occurring in the language during his time to produce extraordinary puns of context and usage.
That, my friend, is called "Using the laymen tongue" and it is what EVERY writer should do if they wish to hold an audience for more than 15 seconds. Generally speaking, I might also add that all "The Great Authors" would be, by today's standards, breaking most (if not all) grammatical and spelling rules, especially Shakespeare.
...and because of societies current settings, simplicity and rule breaking are key. Just check out what is popular and what sells, things that not only break typical rules but are called "literary abortions" by other writers. I bring up both Harry Potter and Twilight, picture perfect books on what not to do in accordance to the "rules" that have been arbitrarily set by other authors, and yet they are so popular.
Besides which, fiction is formal writing. As are journalistic writing, magazine writing, and business/technical writing. They're just different styles.
Informal writing would be "texting", grocery lists, some e-mail (non-business/professional related), and the like.
Texting, I will give you as this is a technology that was created after the rules of writing wee created. However, grocery lists and e-mail (even the personal type as they are still "letters") all have a form and order that go to them. If one was to take a business class in the last couple of years, this would be known. While most people might reject the formality of it, this is another story.
Also, forum post RPing is not formal writing in any context (and I actually find it semi-destructive to writing as a whole but that's another story). Now I'll give you, to a point, fiction on a general scale but the rules of fiction first state: "There are no rules." This is also not mentioning what something might be called vs what it actually is.
"Formal writing" has set in place rules and a formula to follow, like essays and letters. There are formal forms OF FICTION... but fiction is not, generally, a form of formal writing. However, we might be arguing semantics about "formal" vs "practical" in some form or another.
One should follow the simple
grammatical and spelling guidelines so that their reader is not confused... but this generally doesn't matter outside of trying to avoid being outright confusing.
I could "live/life" & "there/their" the rest of my live (:p) and it would not affect the writing piece as a solid entity. Not to mention, that's what editors are for... and most things are based on context.
- If you figuratively climb the walls, you are agitated/frustrated/crazy. If you literally climb the walls, you are Spiderman.
I find this incredibly funny.
Unless one is using this phrase idiomatically speaking, or in terms of speech by character, OR to imply the usage of the word "literally" in terms of the absurd (AKA: Comedy).
Besides, this is an improper verbal use rather than a written one. The only person I know to even use the word "literally," in any context, is myself.
I was actually thinking of James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and Brian Jacques, myself. :)
Mole speech can be brutal if one is not used to it.
It is a unique language, constantly changing, sometimes very slowly and sometimes very rapidly.
Which has rules that simply no longer apply to it.
You are all aware that, unless writing posts as if writing a section of chapter from a story (which would be technically not correct anyway), you must head and date forum posts as if writing a letter, yes? Now, there are things set into place that help us with that... like Subject portion of reply (Re:), timestamps and our signatures at the bottom but this is not how they are generally used (or they are ignored) AND they are placed informally on the site.
...but, like I've said, these rules don't generally apply much, if at all, anymore.