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Monday, April 03, 2006

A Plea for Writing More Betterer.

Ahistoricality linked to a good example of one of the most common mistakes bloggers make: the run-on sentence.

Oh the endless unrevised sentences of highly motivated and easily panicked students who during finals week…neglect such simple things as common sense and reasonable sentence length in a desperate (but ultimately futile) attempt to stuff every last thought they have about this, that or the other topic into a single sentence for fear that, if they do not, the person responsible for grading their final essay—be he a lowly T.A. like myself or a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist like Barry Siegel—will decide that since the entirety of their thinking about this… because they decided that thoughts must be contained in sentences much like they are contained in minds—that is, completely and wholly—with nothing pertaining to the thought they have corralled into the sentence being allowed to exist outside it lest their instructors (myself and Barry) mistake their decision to end a sentence with a desire to end all thought per se and embrace the life they have worked so hard for so long to escape…

Heh. Indeed. To quote the Man.

But bad grammar and poor writing skills doesn’t madden me quite so much as poor logic skills.

Therefore, I ask that the entire Blogosphere be required to at least skim the following links:

Propaganda Critic

Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate

And, the most inclusive

A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical question (erotesis) differs from hypophora in that it is not answered by the writer, because its answer is obvious or obviously desired, and usually just a yes or no. It is used for effect, emphasis, or provocation, or for drawing a conclusionary statement from the facts at hand.

But how can we expect to enjoy the scenery when the scenery consists entirely of garish billboards?

. . . For if we lose the ability to perceive our faults, what is the good of living on? --Marcus Aurelius

Is justice then to be considered merely a word? Or is it whatever results from the bartering between attorneys?

So much heartache and fisking could be avoided if only bloggers could learn to recognize a rhetorical question.

So let it be blogged. So let it be done.