The Sense of Style

The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 069817030X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 368

View: 2167

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“Charming and erudite," from the author of 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.
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How the Mind Works

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393069730

Category: Science

Page: 672

View: 7357

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"A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." —New York Review of Books In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? How the Mind Works synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life. This edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.
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Words and Rules

The Ingredients Of Language

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465049710

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 384

View: 6722

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"If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one." --Jared Diamond In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy. Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.
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The Writer's Diet

Author: Helen Sword

Publisher: Auckland University Press

ISBN: 1775587894

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 88

View: 2805

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Is your writing flabby or fit? If your sentences are weighed down with passives and prepositions, be-verbs and waste words, The Writer's Diet is for you. This book will help you energise your writing and strip unnecessary padding from your prose. The Writer's Diet offers a short, sharp introduction to great writing. Through the online test at www.writersdiet.com and the analysis and examples in this book, Helen Sword teaches writers of all kinds - students to teachers, lawyers to librarians - how to transform flabby sentences into active, energetic prose. The book and the website enable writers to diagnose their writing for flab - passives and prepositions, weak verbs and waste words - and energise their work by stripping away unnecessary padding. The rules of good writing are deceptively simple but this book helps writers to see those principles at work, through examples by stylish authors from Charles Dickens to John McPhee. First published in 2007, The Writer's Diet became a bestselling handbook and now returns refreshed alongside a new version of www.writersdiet.com. The book will highlight your bad habits and sharpen your style - for clearer, crisper sentences filled with words that count. Who says nutritious material must be bland? This short book is packed with excellent advice on writing, offered with charm and good cheer. -Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. 'Does my style look big in this?' The Writer's Diet shows us how to measure our verbal shape honestly and unflinchingly in private, see what we need to tone, and train in simple steps that we can all enjoy. Concise, punchy, engaging, practical, effective, Helen Sword's instant classic has become even fitter in this new edition. - Professor Brian Boyd, the University of Auckland
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Atrocities: The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History

Author: Matthew White

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393083306

Category: History

Page: 688

View: 8358

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“An amusing (really) account of the murderous ways of despots, slave traders, blundering royals, gladiators and assorted hordes.”—New York Times Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White’s epic examination of history’s one hundred most violent events, or, in White’s piquant phrasing, “the numbers that people want to argue about.” Reaching back to the Second Persian War in 480 BCE and moving chronologically through history, White surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories.
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From Notes to Narrative

Writing Ethnographies That Everyone Can Read

Author: Kristen Ghodsee

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022625769X

Category: Reference

Page: 160

View: 1637

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Ethnography centers on the culture of everyday life. So it is ironic that most scholars who do research on the intimate experiences of ordinary people write their books in a style that those people cannot understand. In recent years, the ethnographic method has spread from its original home in cultural anthropology to fields such as sociology, marketing, media studies, law, criminology, education, cultural studies, history, geography, and political science. Yet, while more and more students and practitioners are learning how to write ethnographies, there is little or no training on how to write ethnographies well. From Notes to Narrative picks up where methodological training leaves off. Kristen Ghodsee, an award-winning ethnographer, addresses common issues that arise in ethnographic writing. Ghodsee works through sentence-level details, such as word choice and structure. She also tackles bigger-picture elements, such as how to incorporate theory and ethnographic details, how to effectively deploy dialogue, and how to avoid distracting elements such as long block quotations and in-text citations. She includes excerpts and examples from model ethnographies. The book concludes with a bibliography of other useful writing guides and nearly one hundred examples of eminently readable ethnographic books.
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Language Learnability and Language Development, With New Commentary by the Author

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674042174

Category: Psychology

Page: 435

View: 5165

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In this influential study, Steven Pinker develops a new approach to the problem of language learning. Now reprinted with new commentary by the author, this classic work continues to be an indispensable resource in developmental psycholinguistics. Reviews of this book: "The contribution of [Pinker's] book lies not just in its carefully argued section on learnability theory and acquisition, but in its detailed analysis of the empirical consequences of his assumptions." DD--Paul Fletcher, Times Higher Education Supplement "One of those rare books which every serious worker in the field should read, both for its stock of particular hypotheses and analyses, and for the way it forces one to re-examine basic assumptions as to how one's work should be done. Its criticisms of other approaches to language acquisition...often go to the heart of the difficulties." DD--Michael Maratsos, Language "[A] new edition, with a new preface from the author, of the influential monograph originally published in 1984 in which Pinker proposed one of the most detailed (and according to some, best) theories of language development based upon the sequential activation of different language-acquisition algorithms. In his new preface, the author reaches the not very modest conclusion that, despite the time elapsed, his continues to be the most complete theory of language development ever developed. A classic of the study of language acquisition, in any case." DD--Infancia y Aprendizaje [Italy]
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Hotheads

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin Canada

ISBN: N.A

Category: Brain

Page: 57

View: 2239

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In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company's 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane's vision of good books for all'. Award-winning writer and psychologist Steven Pinker has continually shown that provocative, complex ideas can be translated into bestsellers. In this extract from How the Mind Works he takes us deep into the human psyche as he considers people's desire for happiness, the power of the emotions and how love can come to conquer all.
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Style

The Art of Writing Well

Author: F. L. Lucas

Publisher: Harriman House Limited

ISBN: 085719187X

Category: Reference

Page: 263

View: 629

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"Style" is considered one of the greatest guides to writing well. Legendary among writers and critics, but lost for almost 40 years, "Style" is now back in a beautiful new edition, and remains as entertaining and informative as ever.
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A Reader's Guide to the Twentieth-century Novel in Britain

Author: Randall Stevenson

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813108230

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 178

View: 7701

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The novel is the major literary phenomenon of the twentieth century, and its development in Britain since 1900 has reflected the tumultuous changes that have characterized modern society. Randall Stevenson now presents an accessible and authoritative guide to the work of th ecentury's leading novelists as well as many of its lesser known writers. In this stimulating and wide-ranging account, Stevenson locates the work of individual writers, from Conrad to Jeanette Winterson, within an evolving literary history and the wider context of social, political, and cultural change. Included are British writers working in exile and writers with origins elsewhere, such as James and Rushdie, who have chosen to work in Britain. Women novelists are accorded their rightful prominence. This clear and lively survey deals with a broad range of movements, including modernism and postmodernism, as well as the influence of other world literatures and the impact of two world wars. An ideal text, this is a 'guide' in the best sense—concise and lucid, well-informed and perceptive. Readers new to the field will appreciate Stevenson's clear direction, while the experienced will be delighted by newly revealed connections and fresh perspectives.
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