WRITING BETTER ENGLISH
ETHOS – AUTHORITY, CHARACTER, KNOWLEDGE
LOGOS - REASON AND EVIDENCE
PATHOS – EMOTION
- STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS...
- EMERSON, SELF-RELIANCE
- FROST, POETRY, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
- WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENT: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING FROM OTHER TIMES AND PLACES? (150-200 WORDS)
LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT: 150-250 WORDS ON: KIPLING’S “IF”
ELEMENTS OF STYLE, CONTINUED
V. AN APPROACH TO STYLE, Contnued
11. Do not explain too much.
12. Do not create awkward adverbs (xxxly).
13. Make sure the reader knows who is speaking.
14. Avoid fancy words.
15. Do not use dialect unless your ear is good.
16. Be clear.
17. Do not inject opinion (without good reason).
18. Use figures of speech sparingly (similes, metaphors).
19. Avoid shortcuts at the cost of clarity (though brevity is good).
20. Avoid foreign languages.
21. Prefer the standard to the offbeat.
“Young writers will be drawn at every turn toward eccentricities in language. They will hear the beat of new vocabularies, the exciting rhythms of special segments of their society, each speaking a language of its own. All of us come under the spell of these unsettling drums; the problem for beginners is to listen to them, learn the words, feel the vibrations, and not be carried away.” (STRUNK AND WHITE)
ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON
FIRST LINE OF FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):
The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner, and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature.
LAST LINES FROM THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH:
He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men and put them in fear.
NEXT PARAGRAPH FROM EMERSON’S “SELF-RELIANCE” (AGAIN, IN SEPARATED SENTENCES)
These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.
Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.
The virtue in most request is conformity.
Self-reliance is its aversion.
It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.
He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind.
Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.
I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church.
On my saying, “What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?” my friend suggested,—”But these impulses may be from below, not from above.”
I replied, “They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the devil’s child, I will live then from the devil.”
No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it.
A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.
I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right.
I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.
If malice and vanity wear the coat of philanthropy, shall that pass?
If an angry bigot assumes this bountiful cause of Abolition, and comes to me with his last news from Barbadoes, why should I not say to him, “Go love thy infant; love thy wood-chopper; be good-natured and modest; have that grace; and never varnish your hard, uncharitable ambition with this incredible tenderness for black folk a thousand miles off. Thy love afar is spite at home.”
Rough and graceless would be such greeting, but truth is handsomer than the affectation of love.
Your goodness must have some edge to it,—else it is none.
The doctrine of hatred must be preached, as the counteraction of the doctrine of love, when that pules and whines.
I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me.
I would write on the lintels of the doorpost, Whim.
I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation.
Expect me not to show cause why I seek or why I exclude company.
Then, again, do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations.
Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
There is a class of persons to whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots, and the thousandfold Relief Societies;—though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar, which by-and-by I shall have the manhood to withhold.
POEM: FROST’S “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
REMINDER / REVIEW
Chapter Titles from THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
WRITING ASSIGNMENT: 150-250 WORDS ON FROST’S “Nothing Gold Can Stay”