The Sense of Style

What is the secret of good prose? Does writing well even matter in an age of instant communication? Should we care? This book tells about the modern art of writing, and shows us why we all need a sense of style.

The Sense of Style

What is the secret of good prose? Does it matter in an age of digital media? In this witty, mind-expanding book about the art and science of writing well, Steven Pinker shows that good style isn't just about rules - it's about empathy, coherence and adding beauty to the world. 'Witty, direct and idiosyncratic . . . often laugh-out-loud funny . . . refreshingly uncensorious . . . It helps enormously that he is such a beautiful stylist himself.' Paula Byrne, The Times 'Wonderful . . . No true lover of this chaotic, unregulated, magnificently vital language could fail to thrill.' Christopher Hart, Sunday Times 'Brainy, funny . . . a comedy of linguistic bad manners.' Peter Conrad, Guardian 'Outstanding . . . the one book I can unreservedly recommend as a guide on how to write well . . . unique as well as brilliant.' Oliver Kamm, The Times

The Sense of Style

The sense of style” has a double meaning. The word sense, as in “the sense of sight” and “a sense of humor,” can refer to a faculty of mind, in this case the faculties of comprehension that resonate to a wellcrafted sentence.

The Sense of Style

“Charming and erudite," from the author of Rationality and Enlightenment Now, "The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem.” —Time.com 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—and why should we care? From the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now. In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times–bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. The Sense of Style is for writers of all kinds, and for readers who are interested in letters and literature and are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.

A Sense of Dance

As we will see in the next chapter , by applying Wetzig's patterns of coordination we have a new vocabulary with which to analyze and discuss the sense of movement style , freeing us from labels that have lost their meaning and opening ...

A Sense of Dance

This fresh, inspirational approach shows how to frame the art of dance within the context of life and how to gain the tools to appreciate, discuss and write about dance as a fine art. It also helps develop creative thinking and self-expression.

A Rhetoric of Style

To explore the stylistic homologies of a rhetoric of style is in a sense to explore the repertoire of signification for a given enactment of that rhetoric. A given style is a repertoire of signs as well as the homological glue that ...

A Rhetoric of Style

"In A Rhetoric of Style, Barry Brummett illustrates style's new role as a global system of communication, as people around the world understand and agree on what it means to dress a certain way, to dance a certain way, to decorate a certain way, to speak a certain way. Brummett sees style as a system of signification grounded largely in image, aesthetics, and extrarational modes of thinking. A Rhetoric of Style locates style at the heart of popular culture and asserts that it is the basis for social life and politics in the twenty-first century."--Jacket.

The Question of Style in Philosophy and the Arts

There is the problem of the method , or approach , or tradition , and the concomitant style we choose to work in - style here in the sense of ' general style ' . Do we choose an analytical , a dialectical , or a phenomenological ...

The Question of Style in Philosophy and the Arts

Essays examining the historical transition in our perception of the arts and philosophy.

Who Needs Books

Cox, “Forget Your Preconceptions.” Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (New York: Viking, 2014): 16. Gareth Cook, “Steven Pinker's Sense of Style,” Scientific American, ...

Who Needs Books

“We look around and feel as if book culture as we know it is crumbling to dust, but there’s one important thing to keep in mind: as we know it.” What happens if we separate the idea of "the book" from the experience it has traditionally provided? Lynn Coady challenges booklovers addicted to the physical book to confront their darkest fears about the digital world and the future of reading. Is the all-pervasive internet turning readers into web-surfing automatons and books themselves into museum pieces? The bogeyman of technological change has haunted humans ever since Plato warned about the dangers of the written word, and every generation is convinced its youth will bring about the end of civilization. In Who Needs Books?, Coady suggests that, even though digital advances have long been associated with the erosion of literacy, recent technologies have not debased our culture as much as they have simply changed the way we read.

The Academy

And we do not deny that certain passages 155 pensable qualification of his translator cannot be put in English , and that other 166 should be a tine sense of style . We cannot of his scenes would try the skill of a master 167 blame the ...

The Academy


The Fortnightly

They have a strong sensation of nature and take their style on trust , or they have a strong sense of style and take their observation on trust . An example of the stylist may be found in Mr. Watts , a distinguished painter who can no ...

The Fortnightly


The Continuing Presence of Walt Whitman

The reason may lie in his emphasis on immediate sensation rather than on philosophic introspection. ... For if I love form for its own sake and challenge, I also love and need Whitman, whose style, in a sense, is lack of style: an ...

The Continuing Presence of Walt Whitman

The most protean and elusive of all American poets, Walt Whitman is everywhere and nowhere at once. An unavoidable presence, he still arouses anger, envy, love, and debate one hundred years after his death. To honor this anniversary, Robert Martin has invited the most invigorating and innovative of Whitman's new readers and critics to respond not to Whitman's death but to his continuing life as it has marked their own lives and writings. The eighteen essays gathered in this volume testify to the powerful multiple responses that Whitman continues to evoke.

A System of Rhetoric

At first sight , Shakspere and his contemporary dramatiets seem to write in styles much alike ; nothing so easy as to fall into ... COLERIDGE , Style is of course nothing else but the art of conveying the meaning appropriately and with ...

A System of Rhetoric


The International Studio

One looks first and says “O sancta simplicitas' " And if he were not guided by an inborn sense of style, “THE POOL * BY A. D. PEPPERCORN nature. >k *k >k × >k Now for my own and a less critical confession of faith.

The International Studio


Proceedings of the National Association of Elocutionists

What is this analysis and synthesis of the work of a great author but the thinking and feeling after him of his thoughts and his ... is a powerful agent for the impression of a sense of style in language upon the mind of the student .

Proceedings of the National Association of Elocutionists


Twinkling and Twilight

Yet another meaning of mimesis may be briefly touched upon : the tradition of the rhetorical emulation of stylistic models gave rise to the development of a theory of mimesis in the sense of imitation of style or content : the ...

Twinkling and Twilight


The Mathematical Gazette

the sense for style. It is an aesthetic sense, based on admiration for the direct attainment of a foreseen end, simply and without waste. Style in art, style in literature, style in science, style in logic, style in practical execution ...

The Mathematical Gazette


The Athen um

In the mean what a curious canon it is which supposes a ground rent of 141. , the lessees agreeing time it was used for the exhibition of that the sense of style is less present when its to lay out in the course of three years objects ...

The Athen  um


The Genius of Style

Debussy , 23 Brooklyn Bridge , the , 106 “ Decline and Fall of the Roman Browne , Sir Thomas , 112 , 113 Empire ... 49 Elegy , style in , 25 , 26 Constraint , of natural impulse , 17 Eliot , George , 188 Continuity , the sense of ...

The Genius of Style


The Burlington Magazine

Being in among his forefathers the legendary hero , Ramathe east regarded as a symbol of power , it was yana ... the sense of words and turns emotion ; and this is what is meant by the saying writing into literature . that style rather ...

The Burlington Magazine


Musical Memories

Sense of style would be better . Some of the savage races have this sense of style , for their arms and utensils show a remarkable feeling for style , which they lose by contact with civilization . By art let us understand , if you ...

Musical Memories