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211 PROSE STYLES: TOUGH, SWEET AND STUFFY by Don L. F. Nilsen.

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Presentation on theme: "211 PROSE STYLES: TOUGH, SWEET AND STUFFY by Don L. F. Nilsen."— Presentation transcript:

1 211 PROSE STYLES: TOUGH, SWEET AND STUFFY by Don L. F. Nilsen

2 212 POINT OF VIEW: THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: ETHOSPATHOSLOGOS TOUGH SWEETSTUFFY 1 ST PERSON2 ND PERSON3 RD PERSON SUBJECTIVESUBJECTIVEOBJECTIVE INFORMALINTIMATEFORMAL

3 213 TOUGH LANGUAGE Tough language is the rhetoric of Frederic Henry in Ernest Hemingways Farewell to Arms: Tough language is the rhetoric of Frederic Henry in Ernest Hemingways Farewell to Arms: In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the pain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the pain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels.

4 214 It is the language of intimacy, the language of no pretentions. The words are simple and the grammar is simple. It is the language of intimacy, the language of no pretentions. The words are simple and the grammar is simple. The writing is not planned, but just happens, in a stream of consciousness kind of way you are there. The writing is not planned, but just happens, in a stream of consciousness kind of way you are there. The sentences are short and choppy. If there is conjunction it is coordination, not subordination. The sentences are short and choppy. If there is conjunction it is coordination, not subordination. It is the language of the loosened tie and the rolled up shirt sleeves, with no pretentious multi-syllable or low-frequency words. It is the language of the loosened tie and the rolled up shirt sleeves, with no pretentious multi-syllable or low-frequency words.

5 215 Being egocentric, it is subjective, and whether it is written from the author participant or the author omniscient point of view, it is concerned with communicating peoples innermost feelings. Being egocentric, it is subjective, and whether it is written from the author participant or the author omniscient point of view, it is concerned with communicating peoples innermost feelings. Tough language is the language of fiction, and therefore the process of in medias res is totally appropriate to this styleIn the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountain. Tough language is the language of fiction, and therefore the process of in medias res is totally appropriate to this styleIn the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountain.

6 216 SWEET LANGUAGE Sweet language is the language of advertisors. Walker Gibson calls this language AROMA (Advertising Rhetoric of Madison Avenue). Sweet language is the language of advertisors. Walker Gibson calls this language AROMA (Advertising Rhetoric of Madison Avenue). Sweet language is listener-oriented in an attempt to seduce listeners into buying products they dont want or need. Sweet language is listener-oriented in an attempt to seduce listeners into buying products they dont want or need.

7 217 It is language full of innovative spellings, creative grammar, and wild punctuation. It is language full of innovative spellings, creative grammar, and wild punctuation. Sweet writing contains many sentence fragments, and would rather flaunt a grammatical rule than conform to it: Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. What do you want, good grammar, or good taste? Sweet writing contains many sentence fragments, and would rather flaunt a grammatical rule than conform to it: Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. What do you want, good grammar, or good taste?

8 218 Sweet language is the language of sensationalism, the language of superlatives and hyperbole. Sweet language is the language of sensationalism, the language of superlatives and hyperbole. It is the language of diversion; it plays tricks on the reader with its puns, its word coinages, its humor, its packaging, its sex, and other aspects which have nothing to do with the product itself. It is the language of diversion; it plays tricks on the reader with its puns, its word coinages, its humor, its packaging, its sex, and other aspects which have nothing to do with the product itself. It is informal, or sometimes even intimate or cutesy in tone. It is informal, or sometimes even intimate or cutesy in tone.

9 219 Contractions, clippings, blendings, and deletions abound, making it all the more cryptic and intimate. Contractions, clippings, blendings, and deletions abound, making it all the more cryptic and intimate. Its full of slang expressions like no doubt about it, cut it out, and where else? It can be cutesy, as in Dry skin? Not me, darling. Every inch of little me is as smooth as (well, you know what). Its full of slang expressions like no doubt about it, cut it out, and where else? It can be cutesy, as in Dry skin? Not me, darling. Every inch of little me is as smooth as (well, you know what).

10 2110 Gibson says that a common kind of coinage in sweet language is the noun-adjunct construction (a noun modified by another noun). Gibson says that a common kind of coinage in sweet language is the noun-adjunct construction (a noun modified by another noun). We see this kind of coinage in Speakerphone, Fooderama living, decorator colors, and Supermarket selection. We see this kind of coinage in Speakerphone, Fooderama living, decorator colors, and Supermarket selection. The Bell Company praises the beauties of its hands-free, group-talk, across-the-room telephone. The Bell Company praises the beauties of its hands-free, group-talk, across-the-room telephone.

11 2111 STUFFY LANGUAGE Where tough language is I-oriented, and sweet language is you-oriented, stuffy language is it-oriented. Where tough language is I-oriented, and sweet language is you-oriented, stuffy language is it-oriented. It is the language of laboratory experiments, of research papers and theses and dissertations and scholarly books, and academia in general. It is the language of laboratory experiments, of research papers and theses and dissertations and scholarly books, and academia in general.

12 2112 Stuffy language is highly grammatical and highly formal. Stuffy language is highly grammatical and highly formal. The syntax contains a great deal of subordination, and the sentences are frequently long and complex. The syntax contains a great deal of subordination, and the sentences are frequently long and complex. Infinitives, gerunds, present and past participial constructions, nominative absolutes, perfect, progressive, and passive constructions are almost totally confined to this style of writing. Infinitives, gerunds, present and past participial constructions, nominative absolutes, perfect, progressive, and passive constructions are almost totally confined to this style of writing.

13 2113 It is an impersonal style to the extent that first-person pronouns are seldom allowed. For this and other reasons, passive constructions and impersonal constructions with abstract subjects are common. It is an impersonal style to the extent that first-person pronouns are seldom allowed. For this and other reasons, passive constructions and impersonal constructions with abstract subjects are common. Stuffy language is also the language of limitations, restrictions and qualifications because the writer doesnt want to make claims beyond the evidence. Stuffy language is also the language of limitations, restrictions and qualifications because the writer doesnt want to make claims beyond the evidence. Limiting (as opposed to descriptive) adjectives are frequent, as are prepositional phrases and relative clauses. Limiting (as opposed to descriptive) adjectives are frequent, as are prepositional phrases and relative clauses.

14 2114 THE BIRMINGHAM RIOTS: REPORTED IN THREE DIFFERENT STYLES The police and firemen drove hundreds of rioting Negroes off the streets today with high pressure hoses and an armored car. The police and firemen drove hundreds of rioting Negroes off the streets today with high pressure hoses and an armored car. New York Times May 8, 1963 New York Times May 8, 1963

15 2115 Three times during the day, waves of shouting, rock-throwing Negroes had poured into the downtown business district, to be scattered and driven back by battering streams of water from high- pressure hoses and swinging clubs of policemen and highway patrolmen. Three times during the day, waves of shouting, rock-throwing Negroes had poured into the downtown business district, to be scattered and driven back by battering streams of water from high- pressure hoses and swinging clubs of policemen and highway patrolmen. New York Herald Tribune New York Herald Tribune

16 2116 The blaze of bombs, the flash of blades, the eerie glow of fire, the keening cries of hatred, the wild dance of terror at nightall this was Birmingham, Alabama. The blaze of bombs, the flash of blades, the eerie glow of fire, the keening cries of hatred, the wild dance of terror at nightall this was Birmingham, Alabama. Time, May 7, 1963 Time, May 7, 1963

17 2117 SUMMARY OF WORD DEVELOPMENT: THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: COLLOQUIALCOLLOQUIALFORMAL SLANG: CHARACTERSLANG: AD NO SLANG DEPENDENT MODALS GERUNDS INFINITIVES PERFECTS PROGRESSIVES SPELLING =SPELLINGS =SPELLINGS = CHARACTERSCREATIVECORRECT ANGLO-SAXONANGLO-SAXONINKHORN TERMS WORDSWORDSGREEK & LATIN

18 2118 SUMMARY OF SENTENCE DEVELOPMENT: THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: SHORT, CHOPPYLONG, COMPLICATED FRAGMENTSPERFECT GRAMMAR COMMA SPLICES SIMPLESIMPLELONG & COMPLEX RESTRICTIVE MODIFIER SIMPLE SENTENCESCOMPOUND & COMPLEX SENTENCES CASUAL PUNCTUATIONPERFECT PUNCTUATION RHETORICALSENTENCES DONT QUESTIONSMAKE CLAIMS BEYOND IMPERATIVESEVIDENCE THEY,YOU,

19 2119 !SUMMARY OF PARAGRAPH AND DISCOURSE DEVELOPMENT! THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: STREAM OF CASUALSTRUCTURED CONSCIOUSNESS INDUCTIVEWHATEVERDEDUCTIVE NOTE: THE NEWSPAPER IS SUPER DEDUCTIVE BECAUSE PEOPLE READ HEADLINES; AND MAYBE FIRST PARAGRAPH (WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHERE, HOW); AND LATER MATERIALS GET BURIED OR CUT MUCH INUENDOINTIMATE & CUTESYCAUSAL AND IMPLICATION

20 2120 !!SUMMARY OF USE OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: AUTHOR PARTICIPANT?AUTHOR AUTHOR OBSERVANTOBSERVANT AUTHOR OMNISCIENT MAINLY TROPES:MAINLY SCHEMES:LITERAL IN MEDIAS RESALLITERATION METAPHORASSONANCE IRONYRHYME POETIC JUSTICECUTESY TONE SIMILES ALLEGORIES

21 21 !!!SUMMARY OF PUNCTUATION THE NOVEL:THE AD:THE TEXT BOOK: CREATIVECREATIVEFORMAL USE OF: PUNCTUATIONPUNCTUATIONSEMI COLONS PERIODS PARENTHESES DASHES HYPHENS RESTRICTIVE AND NON-RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES PROPER CAPITALIZATION USE OF ELIPSES … [SIC] BRACKETS, ETC.

22 2122 References: Barry, Anita K. English Grammar: Language as Human Behavior, 2 nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2002. Gibson, Walker. Tough, Sweet and Stuffy: An Essay on Modern American Prose Styles. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1966.


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