[Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style


  • Hardcover
  • 368
  • The Sense of Style
  • Steven Pinker
  • English
  • 04 June 2019
  • 9780670025855

Steven Pinker ì 5 Download

review The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download The Sense of Style Free download à 5 Ity to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously rather than robotically being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish Filled with examples of great and gruesome prose Pinker shows us how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. Superb book on writing

Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven PinkerThe Sense of Style

review The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download The Sense of Style Free download à 5 A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times bestselling author Steven PinkerWhy is so much writing so bad and how can we make it better Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media Do the kids today even care about good writing Why should any of us careIn The Sense of Style the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these uestions and Rethinkin. It started well Your brain will finish the rest of that sentenceOr so Steven Pinker explains The best way to describe this book is as a style guide that relies on neuroscience Instead of admonishments based on grammar old rules and urban myths Pinker explains the best way to write based on how our brain understand words on a page Which makes this one of the readable style guides out there in that it has a purpose instead of just being a list of literary taboosBut the list of taboos makes an appearance in the last third And then it becomes just another style guide that s better for reference than for reading Pinker doesn t provide bad advice here he comes down in favour of the Oxford comma so I m already a fan but the scientific explanations make fewer appearances and the whole thing just becomes a little less interesting He retains a sense of style throughout which will carry you just to the endAlso on Twitter

review The Sense of Style

review The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download The Sense of Style Free download à 5 G 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 Instead he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear coherent and stylish prose In this short cheerful and eminently practical book Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination empathy coherence grammatical knowhow and an abil. I ve long admired Pinker s poise with the pen Both The Blank Slate and The Language Instinct the two books of his I d before read are in my opinion at least conspicuously well written Popular science is contrary to what one might expect a difficult genre the writer must take complex ideas from esoteric subjects ideas usually mired in technical terminology and release them from their provincial prisons Added to this complicated task of exegesis the writer of popular science must also work hard to entertain for popular science like popular music isn t a success unless it sells So when I heard that Pinker had just come out with a style guide I uite naturally noticed as I am in perfect agreement with Pinker when he saysI love style manuals Ever since I was assigned Strunk and White s The Elements of Style in an introductory psychology course the writing guide has been among my favorite literary genres It s not just that I welcome advice on the lifelong challenge of perfecting the craft of writing It s also that credible guidance on writing must itself be well written and the best of the manuals are paragons of their own adviceSo with my usual overblown expectations I cracked open the pages of this book hoping to hear secrets from a professional I will spoil the surprise and say that I was a bit disappointed the book was uite good but could have been much better So allow me if you will to go through it chapter by chapter noting the good the bad and the boring This book starts out strong Pinker acknowledges what I wish style guides would that the foundation of good writing is not abiding by proper grammar nor mastering some rhetorical tricks but is simply being a sensitive reader In this vein Pinker chooses four examples of good writing and pulls them apart providing us with a uick glimpse inside Pinker s readerly mind Speaking for myself I think I ve learned about the art of writing from acuiring the habit of writing down attractive uotations than from all of the style guides put together Pinker also acknowledges something that many guides do not address that most guides are not properly guides to writing but to revising Perhaps there are some who naturally speak in balanced phrases and arresting metaphors but for most of us elegance is a product of careful reworking of obsessive rewriting of assiduous editing Pinker s next two chapters are also strong First he discusses a certain philosophy of style Classic Style This view is guided by two metaphors conversation and vision The writer of classic prose treats the reader as a conversation partner that is as an eual Thus new information is not presented as oracular pronouncements but as a guiding of the reader s eye to previously unexamined bits of terrain just like one might tell an interesting factoid to a friend The implication is that the knowledge was there all along and that the reader only needed the kindly writer to direct his gaze It is unsurprising that Pinker chooses this view to endorse this style is well suited for popular nonfiction and book reviews what with its emphasis on concreteness simplicity and directness Of course no philosophy of style could embrace all genres imagine how boring the world would be if everyone wrote like Pinker With that caveat on mind I thought this view and Pinker s presentation of it very attractive Next Pinker discusses what he calls the Curse of Knowledge This is simply the difficulty that we all have in imagining what it s like not to know something we do know This has been proven in experiment but daily life is full of copious examples how many times have instructions from a teacher or a boss struck you as ambiguous vague confusing People aren t good at giving instructions because they aren t good at imagining what it s like to need instructions for something they know how to do And even when people are made aware of this tendency namely the tendency to assume that other people are aware of the same knowledge as are you they aren t very good at making the leap to clarity The only remedy Pinker suggests is an outside editor Social psychologists have found that we are overconfident sometimes to the point of delusion about our ability to infer what other people think even the people who are closest to us Only when we ask those people do we discover that what s obvious to us isn t obvious to them That s why professional writers have editors Speaking for myself again it s an alarming experience to have somebody single out a sentence as being obscure which you found after copious editing to be clear as day The next chapter is where the book petered out Pinker perhaps himself suffering from the curse of knowledge launches into an explanation of the tree like nature of grammatical relationships For readers of The Language Instinct this will be partially old ground His presentation here however is somehow less compelling The tree diagrams struck me as unnecessary I don t need a picture to understand why The impact which theories of economics predict are bound to be felt sooner or later could be enormous is wrong Further I don t need tree diagrams to understand the utility of passive voice or why sentences like this one penned by Bob Dole should be avoided The view that beating a third rate Serbian military that for the third time in a decade is brutally targeting civilians is hardly worth the effort is not based on a lack of understanding of what is occurring on the ground In short in Pinker s attempt to make the subject of grammar clear using linguistics his explanations became tiresome and superfluous With chapter 5 the book begins to be interesting once Here Pinker discusses the art of composition on a larger scale how to put ideas into an orderly succession how to signal transitions of topic etc He has some sensible things to say but nothing very new I m afraid It is however inevitable that there be a large degree of overlap between style guides Good writing is of course various in style and form but certain lessons are basic such as how to arrange points coherently Then we get to the final chapter which occupies almost half the book I predict that this chapter will be either the most useful or the most tedious for readers if you write often this will seem like the real meat but if you don t it will seem pointless and pedantic What Pinker does here is disassemble point by point many of the bugbears and hobgoblins of purists such as the proverbial split infinitive These rules as Pinker points out are usually based on linguistic and historical ignorance adopted only because their proponents have been vituperative and vocal not because the rules were reflective of good writing I personally feel a kind of Schadenfreude seeing Pinker make know it alls sound like fools but perhaps I am just particularly sadistic Pinker is however careful to make a subtle point just because there are some bad rules doesn t mean that all rules should be floutedPhony rules which proliferate like urban legends and are just as hard to eradicate are responsible for vast amounts of ham fisted copyediting and smarty pants one upmanship Yet when language scholars try to debunk the spurious rules the dichotomizing mindset imagines that they are trying to abolish all standards of good writing It is as if anyone who proposed repealing a stupid law like the one forbidding interracial marriage must be a black cloaked bomb clutching anarchistSo Pinker is not saying there are no rules to language and no common characteristics to good writing all he is saying is that these rules and advice should be based on evidence not ignorance Clearly if Pinker didn t think there were any common characteristics of good writing he wouldn t write a style guide And while I m at it if he didn t think that cultural and environmental influences were important as some people who accuse him of being a genetic deterministic claim then he wouldn t write a style guide either Style guides are stuck in a bit of a paradox This book is aimed at somebody who reads and writes habitually it is full of technical advice for the freuent practitioner Thus Pinker isn t working as hard to be as entertaining as in his other books so the tone is somewhat dry than in say The Blank Slate this uite naturally restricts his readership to a subset of those who often write On the other hand if you read and write much Pinker won t say much that is surprising freuent practice gives one a feel for the correct and the spurious rule the elegant and the jumbled grammatical form Thus Pinker is in the odd position of delivering a sermon to a congregation of priests the nonwriter will be bored because the advice is irrelevant and the writer will be bored because the advice is old news But I ll admit that Pinker did clear up some things I was a bit shaky on For example the rules governing singular and plural can get a little hairy We say The mac and cheese is but Fred and Joe are because mac and cheese is treated as one thing whereas Fred and Joe are two separate things But what about phrases less common than mac and cheese such as flora and fauna I recently encountered this very problem when writing a review of Darwin s Voyage of the Beagle I was unsure whether to say the flora and fauna is or the flora and fauna are Are they two separate things or one inclusive thing like mac and cheese Or consider other ambiguous cases like with the word or What s better Was the bicycle or the scooters damaged or Were the bicycle or the scooters damaged Both sound a bit odd to me Perhaps the biggest drawback of this book aside from the tree diagrams was simply the formatting It s laid out like a work of popular science not a work of reference thus it would be fairly tedious to look up any specific uestions one had For that reason I can t see it becoming terribly influential writers can t point to a specific bullet point or principle in order to debate punctilious copy editors That s a shame because Pinker has some really useful things to say on the subject Writing is hard enough without dogmatic pedants screaming in your ear But while I don t think this book is destined for classic status it is still certainly worth reading Pinker manages to present a nuanced evidence based view of grammar while upholding the values that all careful readers and writers hold dear consistency clarity and grace


10 thoughts on “[Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

  1. says: Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style I have enjoyed every one of Steven Pinker's books and this one is no exception Pinker writes engagingly with humor with inte

  2. says: [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker review The Sense of Style

    [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style review The Sense of Style I was thoroughly charmed by this well written guide on how to write better Maybe it's because real language changes Maybe it's because true clarity comes from the spaces between the words and not absolutely from the rules about the wordsBut that's not to say that this cogent discussion on grammar isn't rife with practical examples and great

  3. says: [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style It started well Your brain will finish the rest of that sentenceOr so Steven Pinker explains The best way to describe this book is as a style guide that relies on neuroscience Instead of admonishments based on grammar old rules and urban myths Pinker explains the best way to write based on how our brain understand words on a page Which makes this one of the readable style guides out there in that it has a purpose instea

  4. says: Steven Pinker ì 5 Download Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker review The Sense of Style

    [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Chapter 1 summary 1 Insist on fresh wording and concrete imagery over familiar verbiage and abstract summary 2 Pay attention to the readers' va

  5. says: Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style I’ve long admired Pinker’s poise with the pen Both The Blank Slate and The Language Instinct the two books of his I’d before read are in my opinion at least conspicuously well written Popular science is co

  6. says: Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Steven Pinker has created a writer's guide that is interesting useful amusing and also frustratingI enjoyed the first part of this book but the middle section got bogged down in parsing sentences and grammar exercises I put the book down and took a week long break from it and debated whether to pick it up again I finally did finish

  7. says: Steven Pinker ì 5 Download Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    review The Sense of Style [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Superb book on writing

  8. says: review The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style

    Steven Pinker ì 5 Download Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Having just embarked on a fairly intensive writing course I asked my mentor for some recommendations of books on the craft of writing This book The Sense of Style was at the top of his list and I can see whyThe author Steven Pinker is a Psych

  9. says: Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker Steven Pinker ì 5 Download review The Sense of Style

    Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker Steven Pinker ì 5 Download [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Originally reviewed on the Night Owls Press blog here Heads up editors In The Sense of Style author Steven Pinker challenges every authoritarian grammarian and language purist who has held sway over the rules of the English language with their dogmatic style books A psycholinguist by profession Pinker is a scholar of the science of language

  10. says: [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download Free download Õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ì Steven Pinker

    review The Sense of Style [Pdf/E–book] The Sense of Style Steven Pinker ì 5 Download A great book on the considerations for writing non fictionThis book was written with the amazing style of Pinker's usual writings and it was abo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *