Friday, May 4, 2007

On Writing Well. Zinsser. Significant Sentences. Concluded

Significant Sentences. On Writing Well. Zinsser. Concluded.

On jargon: "Ecclesiastes: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." Orwell translates this biblical poetic gem into jargon: "Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account." p. 126.

How to "dejargonize" the writing of educators: [Begin by sorting good and bad writing from administrators; distribute to educators and discuss; conclude by having principals rewrite bad writing.] p. 131.

How to help people to write clearly: [Go to the person who had the idea and get them to tell you in their own words how the idea came to them, or how they put it together, and how it will be used. Then rewrite in plain English.] p. 133.

"A distinction made between a 'critic' and 'reviewer'; a reviewer your job is more to report than to make an aesthetic judgment." p. 146.

"Zinsser to students: "I am not interested in 'creative writing,' flights of pure imagination and pointless whimsy." p. 166.

The End.

No comments: