April 2010 Archives

The Literary End

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"If we don't want others toimpose carelessly complex writing on us, then we ought not to impose it on others. If we are socially responsible writers, we should make our ideas no simpler than they deserve, but no more difficult than they have to be" (124).

The page number may be different because I have an old copy of Style, but I wanted to note that here Williams seems to make writing (simple or complex) a global issue (like the increasing awareness of the human footprint on the enviroment) and if we don't stop this horrible writing soon than the world of written world will come to an end. At least that is the way the set-up of the sentence sounds.

However, he does have a point. If we all wrote well, there would be no readers feeling belittled when a writer writes to them as if they are four (and similarly for complex sentences).

Another note: Perhaps people distrust politicians, lawyers, or those long user agreements (online or in banking) because their wording is always long and complicated. But, if the above's writing is clear, how would they sneak in those loopholes.

Students Opinions


Bringing Back the Nom

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Under Balanced Coordination in chapter nine of Style, I have no idea what "a tin ear can distinguish which is which..." means. If you have the same version or understand the phrase, please help.

"An elegant sentence should end on strength. You can create that strength in four ways:

1. End with a strong word, typically a nominalization, or better, a pair of them.

2. End with a prepositional phrase introduced by of."

So nominalizations are okay now that they are at the end of a sentence and, at the end, they are actually the strongest word we can end on. Weird because I had gotten the impression that they were bad and hated things that we (as writers) should scorn.

I won't have problems ending with a prepositional phrase (perhaps I would if it were just a preposition), but I'd really like to try using that parallel or chiasmus stuff, though this will be harder.

Student Reactions

Thermopolis and Work

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As the days of summer are approaching, I am trying to set-up opportunities for work while I will be home. I never thought getting a job that would work around the trip would be so hard. At the same time, I'm looking for internships for my journalism degree.

I applied to a radio show and I was called in for an interview, but before I went I told the producer of my college trip. I had to cancel the interview, though I am happy I had the experience of writing a useful CV and speaking with someone in the business.

I never thought of radio before as a job I'd like to work in, but the hosts seem to truly like their job and have fun. They also get the best of both worlds: communicating with all kinds of people, but also keeping their privacy. Not everyone knows their face.

That's kind of what I was looking forward to as an author.

To return to the subject of Thermopolis: If you're going to take this trip or one like, you should probably already have a steady job that you can take three weeks leave from because you probably won't find one.

Thermopolis: Transportation

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The prices to Thermopolis were pretty good (in the upper $500) for roundtrip and so I've booked the flight early. I actually decided to leave a few days earlier in order to get settled in the hotel and learn my way around the town, find the necessities.

As a note, anyone going to Thermopolis: flying direct may be a good option, but flying to Riverton also works. It takes a bit less time and offers more flexibilty for plane dates/schedules. Transportation is the only hassle. If you stop in Worland or Riverton, you can rent a car.

The cost for renting is a bit more than I could afford, but that didn't matter because I wouldn't meet the age requirement anyway (21). As for Worland airport, I can't say much. I've never been there, but from the website it seems very small and local. The Riverton website was a bit more professional, lending the idea that it sees more service and is more reliable.

However, these are just assumptions.

From the maps I've studied, (thanks to google) it looks as if everything is in walking distance in Thermopolis. The town also runs a taxi service that will be pick me up from the airport in Riverton (I didn't ask about Worland) and make the one hour trek to the hotel for a little over $100.

My Modifications

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"Coordination lets you extend the line of a sentence more gracefully than just tacking on one element to another. When you can coordinate, try to order the elements so that they go from shorter to longer, from simpler to more complex" 101.

Chapter Eight: Shape in Williams's Style was enlightening. I've been looking for something to help me with the shape of my work. Though my observation really refers to my fiction work, it can be applied to journalism articles also.

You don't want your setences to run-on and break down. At the same time, you want clear sentences, but a variation in length and style. This is something I'm struggling with on my manuscript right now.

My setence structure has gotten a little mundane...repetitive. Williams offers solutions. I connect a lot of thoughs with "and" and (see <-- ) my sentences are then very simple. I could instead use "because" and shift some modifiers into the meat of the sentence.

See my classmates' opinions


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