The Sense Of Style

The Sense Of Style

The Thinking Person's Guide To Writing In The 21st Century

eBook - 2014
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A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker Why 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 care' In The Sense of Style, the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. 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. 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 ability 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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2014.
ISBN: 069817030X
9780698170308
Characteristics: 1 online resource.

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KABuck
Aug 28, 2016

For those interested in writing, language, psychology, or how the human mind does some of its greatest things, this book is a gold mine. Acclaimed author and professor Steven Pinker discusses the craft of writing in a comfortable, witty, and confident voice, while not hesitating to pour forth his vast knowledge of psycholinguistics for readers to soak in. The text does not come off as arrogant or excessively admonitory, but keep in mind that it does present some heavy analytical content in which a sleepy bed-time reader could get lost!

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britprincess1ajax
May 14, 2016

Immensely informative but suffering from dryness occasionally, THE SENSE OF STYLE is an excellent book for writers. It teases out the big controversies without forgetting the little details. It examines the claim that the English language is crumbling and deconstructs this shaky argument piece by piece. It examines what makes good writing and then excises all the bad bits, the pitfalls we clumsily find ourselves in again and again. I'm glad I read this book. I recommend it.

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tfcameron
Feb 03, 2015

This is NOT a guide. It has a totally inadequate table of contents, and the index is not much better. I am not sure how good the actual content is, because the book is a tough read. I am disappointed because I am interested in writing and style. Perhaps I am especially critical of his book because I am comparing it directly to HOW GOOGLE WORKS, which is everything that this book isn't. I suspect the root of the problem is that Pinker's writing style is dense and academic. It is glaringly obvious to me that he did not avail himself of good editing and publishing advice to make this a useful contemporary guide to writing in the 21st Century. tfc

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StarGladiator
Oct 30, 2014

Pure Pinker, a joyful excursion into a more logical use of language, with linguistic theory and information thrown in. [The gifted linguist Cardinal Mezzofanti once remarked that he believed that the grammar of English derived from the Saxon language, while the syntax derived from the Welsh Cymric, and that's why it is so garbled up. Prof. Pinker proposes a more logical way.]

s
StarGladiator
Oct 30, 2014

Pure Pinker, a joyful excursion into a more logical use of language, with linguistic theory and information thrown in. [The gifted linguist Cardinal Mezzofanti once remarked that he believed that the grammar of English derived from the Saxon language, while the syntax derived from the Welsh Cymric, and that's why it is so garbled up. Prof. Pinker proposes a more logical way.]

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gendeg
Oct 12, 2014

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. The "sense" in The Sense of Style is knowing how a masterful writer moves fluidly between logical rules and combinations, and knows those idiomatic usages and irregularities. The book is packed with examples and is wonderfully readable, which surprised me. Pinker is great at reverse engineering passages and illuminating what writers have done well (or not done well) to convey their ideas. Take lots of notes!

k
kmbunday
Oct 08, 2014

This book deservedly has very good professional reviews. As a reader who has read other books on this topic before, I have to acclaim Pinker's The Sense of Style as the best book yet on its topic. The advice is sound and based on very good research, and the presentation of the ideas is thought-provoking and often laugh-out-loud funny. Don't miss this book.

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britprincess1ajax
May 14, 2016

britprincess1ajax thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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britprincess1ajax
May 14, 2016

Coarse Language: A few words are on the rough side. One example stands out of my mind of use of a c-word. No, not that c-word; THAAAAT c-word.

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britprincess1ajax
May 14, 2016

“That’s right: when it comes to correct English, there's no one in charge; the lunatics are running the asylum.”

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