Saturday, October 12, 2019
A Writers Choice Essay -- Writing Style Styles Essays
A Writer's Choice "The words we use to communicate our impressions cannot alone constitute a vocabulary sufficient to describe style, but they are part of oneÃ¢â¬ ¦" (Williams 18-19). This excerpt from Joseph M. Williams' Style Toward Clarity and Grace conveys a common theme in his book: Style is complex, and it is a matter of choice. Although writers across the nation may have been taught similar features of style and therefore produce similar products, they may choose to use or disregard those elements of style at will. Writing parallels many other versatile fields - such as art, music, and dance - with the notion that in order to break the rules, one must first understand them. A creator needs a foundation to build on; in writing and style, this foundation is a combination of accuracy, consistency, clarity, and concision. Accuracy is arguably a facet of style. With their list of commonly misused words and expressions in Elements of Style, Strunk and White stress the importance of using language correctly and even identify its relationship with style. "Many of the words and expressions listed here are not so much bad English as bad style, the commonplaces of careless writing" (39). The authors do acknowledge that there is no ultimate authority who deems which words must be used over others, but their matter-of-fact tone and occasional jabs at writers who misuse certain words seem to forecast misfortunes for those who do not follow a recommended word usage. Williams is less concerned about such strict guidelines because "not all of us will agree on what counts as correct" (170). He attributes some rules to folklore, some to special formality, and a lot to personal choice. However, he acknowledges that precision may be ne... ...ingway was a renowned author said to have a distinct style: short sentences and paragraphs that used simple vocabulary. He also tended to avoid putting commas in places where many writers and language experts - Strunk and White, for example - would deem them necessary. And he won a Pulitzer Prize. Despite their solid rules and guidelines, Strunk and White never impose their own definition of style. Williams doesn't either; he depicts it, however, not as one entity but a flexible, evolving collection of writing applications. One can conclude, then, that style ultimately comes down to the methods that writers define and use to create their end results. Works Cited Strunk, William, and White, E.B. The Elements of Style. Needham, NY: Allyn & Bacon, 2000, 1979. Williams, Joseph M. Style Toward Clarity and Grace. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.