Kelly Coyle February 16, 3 books mentioned 3 7 min read Related Books: I am having trouble with a sentence. Complicating that is that I mean for it to be a first sentence, and, hence, it bears all the burdens of a first impression. As a place to start, consider: Of course, now it seems like my sentence is missing a word.
I could replace it with something. I suppose this sentence is an example of the Although [general condition], [exception to the general condition]. We use this form a lot, of course, in the often false hope of awakening interest in our readers. In order for this move to really work, the reader has to have some investment in the general condition, or else the general condition needs to be such a commonplace that it would be surprising that I would be disputing it.
Mostly neither condition obtains, and what the construction of my sentence really represents is lazy, good-enough-to-get-started writing. At least this has the advantage of directness. In many ways, this is better. It takes an unsoftened stand. You see, a while ago Fish wrote several editorials about writing in his New York Times column.
In those, he argued, just like he does in his new book, that the form of a sentence is the proper focus for composition instruction. Much like what classical rhetoricians believed about eloquence, Fish argues you can teach students to write by teaching them to pour their ideas into the molds of well-formed sentences.
What I had hoped for, I guess, was not an extension of his argument, or a further call to pay attention to form in writing instruction. I hoped Fish would actually begin to catalogue the forms themselves, to begin to set all of the available rhetorical variations into some sort of order.
I mean, take the form I offered before: Although [general condition], [exception to the general condition]. There is a lot you can do with this. Students can be asked to produce a bunch of examples of the case, and thereby learn to use it fluently.
You could observe that this species of sentence is a member of a larger genus, something like [statement], [contrasting statement]. This all seems to me, as it does to Fish, to be good work for students to do. To try again to communicate this, it might be best to go back to my original statement of my intent: I admit, I like this new sentence.
It expresses shame over having to admit that I found his book disappointing, and shame, I think, can sell a sentence. Back when I was trying to learn to play jazz guitar, I came across a book, Patterns for Jazzthat seemed to me to hold the promise of finally figuring out how to play across chord progressions.
Put them to use. The point they intended I think was that students should play the patterns so much that they would be able to spontaneously predict how any given note or pattern would sound in the musical context they found themselves in.
In fact, at least in a sense, you could summarize his whole program including his literary criticism as a disciplined approach to paying attention to sentences.
If you can do that, he says, and not allow yourself to get bogged down arguing or applauding what the sentence is saying, or likewise mired in grammar and correctness, you can learn to write.Best books related to “How to Write a Sentence”: What We Believe but Cannot Prove, This Book Will Make You Think, Introducing Evolutionary Psychology, Babble, Writing .
Outspoken New York Times columnist Stanley Fish offers an entertaining, erudite analysis of language and rhetoric in this delightful celebration of the written word.
Drawing on a wide range of great writers, from Philip Roth to Antonin Scalia to Jane Austen and beyond, Fish’s How to Write a Sentence is much more than a writing manual—it is a penetrating exploration into the art and craft of sentences. The writing of complete sentences for aural pleasure as well as news is going the way of the playing of musical instruments—it’s becoming a speciality rather than a means most people have to a.
There's more to a (good) sentence than meets the eye. Stanley Fish knows quite a bit about it and, using quite few dazzlers of his own, lets us in on some of the finer caninariojana.coms: How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, by Stanley Fish.
How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, by Stanley Fish. A SENTENCE and AND HOW TO READ ONE STANLEY FISH caninariojana.com To the Memory of Lucille Reilly Parry, Teacher, – “When you write you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe.
The sentence is snapped off, almost like the flick of a whip; it has the form of.