My Final Thoughts About What Kilian Says

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I hope that is what these are.  As a whole, I thought that this was a very well written, helpful book that has kept me thinking.  As an aside, I received a letter from my grandmother about my cat, who she affectionately calls "Killah".  I was reading the letter sort of fast, so when I came to the part where she identifies the cat, I thought she wrote "Good luck with Kilian", and I was bewildered by how she knew the author of the book that I was blogging about.  That really has nothing to do with my feelings about the book, it just illustrates how much of a mark the readings and subsequent discussions made on me.

As for the text itself, I thought it took the best mode of explaining the writing style by introducing what hypertext is and the concept of chunking in the very beginning.  Those concepts govern the rest of the writing style and were unknown to me before reading this book, so that was helpful.  I also liked the exercises within the text; too many times people explain the rules of grammar without giving you practice exercising those rules.  However, I would have liked to see more of them throughout the book, and maybe have them utilized better electronically.  For the first part, more practice cannot hurt.  The second part deals more with the readability stats.  I know that a lot of people had trouble using the website presented in the book to get their readability information.  It did not affect me since I had Microsoft Word, but if I had not, I would not know the statistics of my writing.  A calculator on the cd that comes with the book might be helpful; the writer could copy and paste a document into it and let the Flesch-Kincaid equation do the rest.  I do not know how feasible this is, but it is just a whim that I had.

I also liked the unity of the book and how it kept referring to referring back to orientation, information, and action.  It gives me a good set of guidelines when I start writing my term project later this semester.  I would have liked to see Kilian give me a few more ways of tackling the issue.  The three words are good, which is a considerable improvement of an earlier position, but I just feel that it gets me in a mode of thinking that does not allow freedom.  Everyone turned to the internet because it was a new and interesting way to present themsleves, it represented thinking outside the box.  I think the book should encourage people to think about those three terms in a way that elevates the level of their usage.  I guess that I am trying to say that the book almost entirely full of interesting new ideas, I just thought the last chapter lost some of those fresh ideas by relying on the ideas presented through the whole book.

In conclusion, I think that this is an effective book.  As a freshman in college, this book was my first experience with grammar rules and style guiding at the college level.  I thought that it did a good job of explaining things in a helpful, understandable way without condescending or patronizing me.  I think that it should stay close to this form.

And now back to the main event.

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November 2008

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