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As Pinker says, “The curse of knowledge is the single best explanation I know of why good people write bad prose.” This explains the profusion of jargon: “. You might find this stuff boring, but it’s not at all dry. I like Pinker’s take on writing; I learned a lot from it. please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added. students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. by The answer: look it up. Pre-publication book reviews and features keeping readers and industry This is a very nice idea. Required fields are marked *. Reader Reviews. RELEASE DATE: Sept. 30, 2014. Now that The Sense of Style exists, is there any need for my upcoming book? Not so Pinker’s. . [P]eople with health conditions are more easily affected by Carbon Monoxide and their symptoms are more severe . Fatter and more complex than Strunk and White, and some of the more technical arguments may make this a tough sell on the... by Category: Book Reviews Tags: Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style Leave a Comment. Discussing this error of perspective, Pinker draws on his expertise in cognitive psychology, explaining the concept of functional fixedness – essentially the principle that familiarity with an object (or subject) locks us into a narrow understanding of how it can be used (or presented). A perennial strength of his writing is the shrewdly chosen example. Information at BookBrowse.com is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent. Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. As an instance of an ambiguous news headline he offers "Manufacturing data helps invigorate Wall Street", and his samples of risibly inept metaphor include "No one has yet invented a condom that will knock people's socks off". Wed 3 Sep 2014 07.29 BST Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A convention is an agreement among the members of a community to abide by a single way of doing things. Genre: Advice We look at every kind of content that may matter to our audience: books, but also articles, reports, videos and podcasts. All rights reserved. A coherent text is a designed object: an ordered tree of sections within sections, crisscrossed by arcs that track topics, points, actors, and themes, and held together by connectors that tie one proposition to the next. . We’re glad you found a book that interests you. Book Review: The Sense of Style. The simplistic rule "Use the active voice", echoed by George Orwell in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language", has proved especially tenacious. While this isn't the only time The Sense of Style profits from Pinker's academic research, the book could do with a little more scientific heft. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century is a 2014 English style guide written by cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author Steven Pinker. In The Sense of Style, the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Whatever we select for our library has to excel in one or the other of these two core criteria: Enlightening – You’ll learn things that will inform and improve your decisions. His other books include The Stuff of Thought, The Language Instinct, and Words and Rules. As a linguist, Pinker inclines to descriptivism but doesn’t rule out prescriptivism entirely. They have absorbed a vast inventory of words, idioms, constructions, tropes, and rhetorical tricks, and with them a sensitivity to how they mesh and how they clash. This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Subculture, the Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker The Sense of Style is a scholarly and witty book on the art of writing well. BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. Title Here’s where Pinker adroitly and incontrovertibly dismantles myths about split infinitives, dangling modifiers, subjunctives, prepositions at the end of a sentence, like vs. as, and even the singular they. Author Orthodox stylebooks are ill-equipped to deal with a fundamental fact about language: it changes over time. I was intrigued when I first heard that Steven Pinker, the linguist and cognitive scientist, was writing a book on style. In The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker cheerfully launches himself on to this terrain. At getAbstract, we summarize books* that help people understand the world and make it better. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Verlyn Klinkenborg, by This slim volume abounds with precepts that are superficially pleasing but misguided and restrictive. Rethinking the usage guide for the twenty-first century, Pinker doesn't carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. More Information | The whole second chapter of The Sense of Style is filled with great advice on topics like eschewing hedges, minimizing abstractions, avoiding “zombie nouns” (assessment, comprehension, exclusion), and using personal pronouns (“I” and “you”). In fact, you could say it is my job to define it. Steven Pinker. Learn how your comment data is processed. Bestselling author, linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker provides readers with a new writing-guide for the twenty-first century. They feel deeply about the subjects they cover. This gambit, of course, also works beyond cyberspace. On the page, and in conversation, we frequently observe that one person's idea of linguistic rectitude is another's of insufferable fussiness. Just as a film director and camera operator create images when making a movie, good writers present pictures to their readers. “The primary lifeline between an incoming sentence and a reader’s web of knowledge is the topic,” he writes, carefully separating the different senses of the term “topic” in the realms of linguistics and grammar before discussing such common-sensical things as orderly transitions, logical coordination and pronoun/antecedent agreement. Building upon earlier guides, such as Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, it applies science to the process of writing, and explains its prescriptions by citing studies in related fields – e.g., grammatical phenomena, mental dynamics, and memory load – as well as history a… . Linguists capture their regularities in "descriptive rules" – that is, rules that describe how people speak and understand.

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