February 2010 Archives

Even the News Needs Ratings

| | Comments (0)

I felt a lot of resistance to this chapter. In Style: The Basics of Clarity, Joseph M. Williams told me that passive is ok; some people even say passive is more objective.

I did not like being told this, though I see his point.

"Some scholarly writers claim that by deleting a first-person subject, the passive voice creates an objective point of view."

Part of why the passive voice sounds so objective to me is because it sounds so flat, but journalism needs the action. Otherwise, the news wouldn't sound immediate or forceful or grab your attention.

Even the news needs ratings.

 

Nom Nom Nom Nom

| | Comments (1)

"When we nominalize nominalize, we create the nominalization nominalization" (29).

I understand this concept, and maybe everyone else knows, but I still didn't understand nominalization (mostly because I don't understand nominalize) until I looked it up.

Nominalize - to convert into a noun

All I could think was the internet version of the meaning "nom". The way I would express nominalization is "to noun" something. The reverse is then "to verb" which I use frequently as in "I just verbed a noun".

During this whole section, I started to get the idea that the book spoke about active versus passive voice. The way many of the examples were changed made them seem stronger and used more "active" verbs. Were the sentences then in passive to begin with? Is that what this chapter is about? Or is nominalization seperate from passive voice?

SIDENOTE: On page 32, "We need not" sounded a little old fashioned to me. I agree that it is better than "There is no need" but couldn't it be changed to "We don't (do not) need" instead?

Students' Opinions

Nom Nom Nom Nom

| | Comments (0)

"When we nominalize nominalize, we create the nominalization nominalization" (29).

I understand this concept, and maybe everyone else knows, but I still didn't understand nominalization (mostly because I don't understand nominalize) until I looked it up.

Nominalize - to convert into a noun

All I could think was the internet version of the meaning "nom". The way I would express nominalization is "to noun" something. The reverse is then "to verb" which I use frequently as in "I just verbed a noun".

During this whole section, I started to get the idea that the book spoke about active versus passive voice. The way many of the examples were changed made them seem stronger and used more "active" verbs. Were the sentences then in passive to begin with? Is that what this chapter is about? Or is nominalization seperate from passive voice?

SIDENOTE: On page 32, "We need not" sounded a little old fashioned to me. I agree that it is better than "There is no need" but couldn't it be changed to "We don't (do not) need" instead?

Students' Opinions

Latin to the rescue again

| | Comments (0)

"For 250 years, grammarians have accused the best writers of violating these rules, and for 250 years those writers have ignored them" (Williams 9).

At first, I cheer for the writers and think the grammarians are jerks. However, I can see that the grammarians don't mean any harm, in fact, they're just trying to help. Perhaps they get a bad rap in this book.

The "that" and "which" rule really confuses me. Sometimes I think I know which to use, but other times I have no idea and flip back and forth while writing. Usually (in that case) I'll just rewrite the whole sentence to aviod the problem.

I remember last year I was editing a poem with a group and the student had used "that" making the line a little clumsy and the error stood out. The way to fix it would have been to change it to "in which" but that didn't fit with the style/voice of the narrator.

We were stuck. This is one of those examples of a stylistic reason for breaking the rule.

These breaking the rules are good for creative writing, but is it for journalism? The Folklore yes, but the Elegant or the Hobgoblins? We are writing for the common man in newspapers so I write by asking which he would prefer? Which would he see as right? Which would not stick out to him?

Students' Opinions

Running Headstrong into a Minefield

| | Comments (2)
I hope that my second edition of "Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace" is close enough to the one in the bookstore. I'm not sure since I am blogging first.

From my understanding, this blog isn't about our reactions or reflections of the text, but application. I'm finding this a little difficult because I'm used to reacting. For the Orwell part, I thought he was very concise (for Orwell), but perhaps I'm used to academese. However, when you revised his statement, I felt Orwell's voice was lost while his message was clearer. (Elementary school clear)

It's been about twenty minutes since I wrote the above portion and, upon reflecting on the chapter, I cannot come up with anything. I think I write simply. I write in active voice unless it cannot be avoided. I don't believe a blank page is "a minefield to cross gingerly" and I'm not big on grammar.

I like to throw words on the page because they sound good together and they make sense. I write for the average person (whatever that is) not just because I'm a journalist, but because that is my writing voice.

"Generations of students have struggled with dense writing, many thinking they were not smart enough to grasp a writer's ideas. Some have been right about that..."

I'm not really going to comment on how angry that part of the sentence made me. The next part did nothing to relieve the anxiety and confirmation I felt about my inability to read long compilations of words in literature/academic papers that I hope to never write.

I did, however, enjoy the quote about lawyers not understanding lawyers.

Students' Opinions

Recent Comments

Dennis G. Jerz on The Literary End: I like your observation that g
Cody Naylor on Bringing Back the Nom: Aja, i think a tin ear just me
Tyler J. Carter on Bringing Back the Nom: Very well put aja, and I did a
Jessie Krehlik on My Modifications: I'm with you, Aja. I learned a
Cody Naylor on Scan-able Text: hahahaha! Oh Aja, I LOVED how
Tyler J. Carter on Actin Out: I agree, and this is a valid p
Cody Naylor on Actin Out: I like your idea about varying
Aja Hannah on Children in Chairs: Well, "Humanities Divison Chai
Dennis G. Jerz on Children in Chairs: The word "chairman" brings its
Aja Hannah on The Graphs?: And I figured that, but nowada