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robertogreco : sentences   12

Sean Ziebarth on Twitter: "The effects of outlining on writing. Via “Several short sentences about writing” by Verlyn Klinkenborg #teachwriting #aplangchat #2ndaryela #elachat #engchat… https://t.co/iu9kcxup0F"
"The effects of outlining on writing.
Via “Several short sentences about writing” by Verlyn Klinkenborg
[https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/93789/several-short-sentences-about-writing-by-verlyn-klinkenborg/9780307279415 ]
#teachwriting #aplangchat #2ndaryela #elachat #engchat


[images with: ]

In the outline and draft model of writing, thinking is largely done up front.
Outlining means organizing the sequence of your meanings, not your sentences.
It derogates the making of sentences.
It ignores the suddenness of thought,
The surprises to be found in the making of sentences.
It knows nothing of the thoughtfulness you'll discover as you work.

It prevents discovery within the act of writing.
It says, planning is one thing, writing another,
And discovery has nothing to do with it.
It overemphasizes logic and chronology
Because they offer apparently "natural" structures.
It preserves the cohesiveness of your research
And leaves you with a heap of provisional sentences,
Which are supposed to sketch the thoughts you've already outlined.

It fails to realize that writing comes from writing."

[later: "I can’t believe I’ve survived the past six years without “Several Short Sentences About Writing” by Verlyn Klinkenborg. #zen #wordnerd"
https://twitter.com/MrZiebarth/status/1047722841532071937

[images with]

"There's nothing permanent in the state of being written down.
Your sentences, written down, are in the condition of waiting to be examined.

You commit yourself to each sentence as you make it,
And to each sentence as you fix it,
Retaining the capacity to change everything and
Always remembering to work from the small-scale—The scale of the sentence—upward.

Rejoicing and despair aren't very good tools for revising.
Curiosity, patience, and the ability to improvise are.
So is the ability to remain open to the work and let it remain open to you.

Don't confuse order with linearity.
You'll find more than enough order in the thought, and sentences that interest you.
By order I mean merely connections—
Some close, some oblique, some elliptical—
Order of any kind you choose to create, any way you choose to move."]
seanziebarth  verlynklinkenborg  writing  outlines  howwewrite  unschooling  deschooling  drafts  meaning  thinking  howwethink  sentences  poems  poetry  scale  linearity  order  thought  connections  meaningmaking  2018 
october 2018 by robertogreco
A long sentence is worth the read - latimes
""Your sentences are so long," said a friend who teaches English at a local college, and I could tell she didn't quite mean it as a compliment. The copy editor who painstakingly went through my most recent book often put yellow dashes on-screen around my multiplying clauses, to ask if I didn't want to break up my sentences or put less material in every one. Both responses couldn't have been kinder or more considered, but what my friend and my colleague may not have sensed was this: I'm using longer and longer sentences as a small protest against — and attempt to rescue any readers I might have from — the bombardment of the moment."



"To pick up a book is, ideally, to enter a world of intimacy and continuity; the best volumes usher us into a larger universe, a more spacious state of mind akin to the one I feel when hearing Bach (or Sigur Rós) or watching a Terrence Malick film. I cherish Thomas Pynchon's prose (in "Mason & Dixon," say), not just because it's beautiful, but because his long, impeccable sentences take me, with each clause, further from the normal and the predictable, and deeper into dimensions I hadn't dared to contemplate. I can't get enough of Philip Roth because the energy and the complication of his sentences, at his best, pull me into a furious debate in which I see a mind alive, self-questioning, wildly controlled in its engagement with the world. His is a prose that banishes all simplicities while never letting go of passion."



"I love books; I read and write them for the same reason I love to talk with a friend for 10 hours, not 10 minutes (let alone, as is the case with the average Web page, 10 seconds). The longer our talk goes, ideally, the less I feel pushed and bullied into the unbreathing boxes of black and white, Republican or Democrat, us or them. The long sentence is how we begin to free ourselves from the machine-like world of bullet points and the inhumanity of ballot-box yeas or nays.

There'll always be a place for the short sentence, and no one could thrill more than I to the eerie incantations of DeLillo, building up menace with each reiterated note, or the compressed wisdom of a Wilde; it's the elegant conciseness of their phrases that allow us to carry around the ideas of an Emerson (or Lao Tzu) as if they were commandments or proverbs of universal application.

But we've got shortness and speed up the wazoo these days; what I long for is something that will sustain me and stretch me till something snaps, take me so far beyond a simple clause or a single formulation that suddenly, unexpectedly, I find myself in a place that feels as spacious and strange as life itself.

The long sentence opens the very doors that a short sentence simply slams shut. Though the sentence I sent my copy editor was as short as possible. No."
2012  picoiyer  writing  via:seanziebarth  sentences  attention  pace  speed  slow 
july 2015 by robertogreco
That Way We’re All Writing Now — The Message — Medium
"[When you(r)…
That moment when…]

This style has been huge for some time now. Do you love it, or hate it?

Me—I’m in! Mind you, I’m a fan of all the betentacled linguistic lifeforms that have emerged from our cambrian explosion online. These days, people write insanely more text than they did before the Internet and mobile phones came along. So the volume of experimentation is correspondingly massive and, for me, delightful. One joy of our age is watching wordplay evolve at the pace of E.coli.

But this trend: What’s going on with it? How does it work? Why do people employ it so frequently?

It turns out there are four big reasons why.

To suss this out, I called up some linguists: Gretchen McCulloch, a who specializes in analyzing netspeak (her Toast essay explaining “the grammar of Doge” is a gorgeous example), and Ben Zimmer, a linguist with Vocabulary.com who writes for the Wall Street Journal. As they pointed out, this style of wordplay initially appeared—like most online memes — on image-boards, Tumblr and Youtube. An early version was the meme “that feel when”; variants morphed into the standalone phrase “that awkward moment when”, which by last year was common enough to appear as a movie title.

But it’s more than just movie titles. This stylistic gambit— “that moment when …”, “the thing where …”, “when you realize …” — is omnipresent now. And that’s because it achieves a few conversational goals:

1) It creates a little puzzle. …

2) It makes your feeling seem universal. …

3) It’s short. …

4) It’s a glimpse of the next big way the Internet is changing language. …

For the first fifteen years of the mainstream Internet, the main way language changed was at the level of the individual word. We invented a lot of ‘textisms’ — short forms like ‘ur’ for “you’re”, LOL-style acronyms, or alphanumeric l33tspe@k. And of course, a lot of words got invented, like “selfie”.

What’s happening now is different. Now we’re messing around with syntax — the structure of sentences, the order in which the various parts go and how they relate to one another. This stuff people are doing with the subordinate clause, it’s pretty sophisticated, and oddly deep. We’re not just inventing catchy new words. We’re mucking around with what makes a sentence a sentence.

“Playing with syntax seems to be the broad meta trend behind a whole bunch of stuff that’s going on these days,” McCulloch tells me. And it goes beyond this subordinate-clause trend. Many of the biggest recent language memes were about syntax experimentation, such as the “i’ve lost the ability to can” gambit, or the gnarly elocution of doge, or the “because” meme. (Indeed, Zimmer points out, the American Dialect Society proclaimed “Because” the Word of the Year for 2013, largely because it had been revitalized by this syntax play.)

Why would we be suddenly messing around with syntax? It’s not clear. McCulloch thinks it may be related to a larger trend she’s identified, which she calls “stylized verbal incoherence mirroring emotional incoherence”. Most of these syntax-morphing memes consist of us trying to find clever new ways to express our feelings.

“You want to convey that you’re kind of overwhelmed by your emotions,” she says. “But you don’t want people to think that you’re completely naive about it. So you’re maintaining a certain level of sophistication. You need to stylize your incoherence, so that it’s part of a broader thing people are doing. You don’t just kind of keysmash all over the place. You also want to be witty while you’re doing it.

“You get more attention online if you’re witty, and people actually engage with you if you’re witty about your feelings.”

On the other hand, if you really don’t like this trend, there is—as it happens —an image-meme for your feelings, too. Better yet, it’s a complete sentence!"
clivethompson  2015  language  internet  memes  syntax  linguistics  writing  howwewrite  gretchenmcculloch  doge  grammar  text  texting  play  communication  brevity  universality  belonging  humor  emotions  benzimmer  wordplay  words  sentences  that 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The atomic sentence - Bobulate
“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”

That’s Richard Feynman from Lectures on Physics. While he’s referring to scientific knowledge, I considered how his question might apply to what we do. How could we meaningfully sum up what we do in a few words?

I love these sorts of challenges, forcing us to be brief, working with constraints. No small task. Yet, encapsulating an entire design profession seemed a rather daunting — and fleeting — task, thus, I developed a daily practice.

At the end of each day, I write an “atomic sentence,” a single statement that summarizes the most vital lesson about that day.

More than zero

At times where I flail, fumble, and otherwise seek a signpost, these sentences have helped — personal lifelines indicating a larger story. Each day, an atomic unit in a living network.

Over the years, my atomic sentences have included:

• "Make sure you believe in what you start as there are only two ways it can end: you will finish it or it will finish you."
• "When you step in the stream, the water doesn’t pass you by (although the risk of drowning does increase)."
• "Letting go is in fact — or perhaps only sometimes — letting in."
• "Certainty made clear by uncertainty; safety by danger."
• "Every person is just a person trying to be a person."
• "Make starts, not ends."

Hurry off, for at least a sentence’s worth of time, to make your own."
lizdanzico  summary  writing  sentences  atomicsentences  brucefeynman  brevity  contraints  thinking  2014 
september 2014 by robertogreco
What One Revision Can Teach Us About the Elements of English | Poynter.
"My favorite writing exercise involves the revision of a single sentence about a funeral service held at the Georgia Aquarium for a beluga whale, dead from a bacterial infection. The loss of the charismatic mammal was deeply felt and inspired a public ceremony of mourning. Mark Davis covered the event for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a moving account that included this sentence:

The crowd gathered and knelt around the 12-foot creature.

This is a fine sentence, but I’ve argued that it could be better and have offered a revision more aligned to the writer’s mission and purpose.

When I teach this example, I challenge the writers in the classroom or audience to make the repair: “Try to improve this sentence,” I say, “without adding or deleting or changing a word. See if you can improve it by taking Mark’s words and moving them around.” A number of revisions are suggested, but my favorite goes like this.

The crowd gathered around the 12-foot creature and knelt."
writing  revisions  via:lukeneff  2011  roypeterclark  sentences  teaching 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Telescopic Text
"telescopictext.org is an extension of telescopictext.com, and is primarily a set of tools for creating expanding texts in a similar way. The tools can be found by clicking Write in the navigation at the top. Texts will house an ongoing collection of selected texts. Resources provides help for using this website, and also any news, updates, guides, support and a Q&A.; If you need further information or help, contact info@telescopictext.com. You can Register in order to save and publish texts, or Sign in if you already have an account. If you like what you find here and you want to help support it you can Donate."
micromacro  collaboration  wcydwt  language  via:maxfenton  text  telescopic  telescopictext  literacy  tools  writing  sentences 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Why Tweet? (And How To Do It) | A.T. | Cleveland
"Effective tweeting requires effective writing. The short form—each tweet is 140 characters or less—requires discipline. Tweets reward clarity, wit and concision. You could train yourself to be a better writer by using twitter effectively. It hones your focus on the sentence level, and the sentence is the most important unit of composition.

Once, I asked a group of students to take an essay they had written for class and tweet it, sentence by sentence. By forcing them to fit each sentence into that white box, I was asking them to analyze every word they used and to consider how they constructed the clauses in the sentence. They were furious with me: they hated the exercise. But they all agreed they thought about their sentences more than they had when they first wrote the paper…

I have broken down effective tweets into four categories: headline, questions, self-contained quips and comments…"
tutorials  howto  questions  comments  quips  headlines  2011  communication  howwewrite  practice  efficiency  brevity  sentences  classideas  writing  twitter  annetrubek 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Notes Towards A Theory of Twitter (Revised) | A.T. | Cleveland
"Twitter is an associative writing form, not a narrative one. In Twitter, we are sent somewhere else-via a link-or reminded of something. We are not telling stories. Thus, while the twitter fiction is swell and cute, it usually it misses the generic boat. Twitter promises a new slate for poets. For fiction writers, not so much. (For what I find to be a notable exception, see my piece for Economist.com). Tweets create meaning and aesthetic experiences  by reminding us, not by telling a story…

1.a.) Twitter does not operate on the narrative arc of rising action, suspense, climax, and denouement…

Twitter lacks single-point perspective (or omniscience)…

2.) Twitter helps resist the curse of paragraphism…

2.a.) A new focus on the sentence is salutary…

Conclusion: There is no summing up on twitter. There are many arrows pointing one across (not up or down) to the ideas of others, cross-fertilization, and forced attention to the composition of sentences."
via:allentan  2012  sentences  hypertext  communication  howwewrite  classiseas  composition  crosspollination  cross-fertilization  storytelling  narrative  literature  paragraphism  writing  twitter  annetrubek 
january 2012 by robertogreco
OBIA, THE THIRD [Gary Provost on sentence variety in writing]
"This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important."<br />
—Gary Provost 
writing  sentences  variation  variety  classideas 
july 2011 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Literary Style By The Numbers
"I compiled stats for 3-4 books for each author, except Gladwell who has written two, and then plotted them on a scatter chart, with the y axis representing % complex words and the x axis representing words per sentence. The results were pretty fascinatin
amazon  analysis  books  complexity  words  sentences  statistics  style  visualization  information  language  literature  reference  writing  sales 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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