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Picture of Kalleh
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I haven't read the entire online version of this style guide by Haddad, but from what I've seen, it's reasonable. Paste writes about it; here's an excerpt:
quote:
I’ve read the S&W twice, personally, and am a better writer for it … and maybe even a better man. Most other guides to writing prose feel too technical or too airy-fairy for my tastes, and I applaud the fact that the span of the stylistic considerations in S&W leaps the fences of journalism and roams into the wide open spaces of fiction.

Why, though, should S&W be our exclusive lens for looking at style? Times change. Hemlines rise and fall. Sideburns thicken, then molt. Writing changes.

I’ve now come across something new under the sun for writers to consider as we look at ways to win the hearts and minds of readers.
While I don't agree with him about S&W, as you know, I like his comment about times changing.
[Edit: Corrected Haddock to Haddad]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
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A lot of what Haddad says seems reasonable, but unfortunately this chapter repeats the whole "passive voice is evil" thing, and also the idea that the less words you use, especially the less adjectives and adverbs you use, the better your writing is. This might be good advice for college students, but I don't think it works for all writers.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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I have just read the introduction to the evils of the passive voice. This is what the author wrote:

"...To see the difference between these two voices, let’s put Dick and Jane to work again. Here’s the same sentence as above, but rewritten in the passive voice: “Jane was seen by Dick.”

Notice how the passive voice bloats this sentence with two unnecessary words, “seen” and “by.” Not only do these words add nothing to the meaning of the sentence. They slow down it’s pacing..."

Firstly, although I agree that the passive voice is pointless in the example given, there are occasions when it is called for - as in the following example in which I refer to this very extract:

"It is very unfortunate that an amazingly elementary spelling mistake has been made in the final sentence."

Of course, I could simply have written, "It is unfortunate that the writer of this piece has made an elementary spelling mistake in its last sentence" - but surely the passive is kinder as it distances the criticism.


Richard English
 
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Picture of BobHale
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How marvellous that he takes two and a half thousand words to express the need for brevity -something that, if I agreed with him, I could précis into about a hundred.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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Also interesting that he thinks a gerund is a noun masquerading as a verb when it's the exact opposite.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
by Haddock, but from what I've seen, it's reasonable.

Haddock? Sounds fishy to me.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Picture of Proofreader
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Oh my Cod!


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Picture of zmježd
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Pity the poor passive. Shunned as it is by the peever. There are two important traits about the passive. It allows one to move a direct object to the front of the sentence calling the readers attention to it; it also allows the subject to be optionally deleted. This whole idea of less is more is so much hogwash. Besides, by leaving off the agent the sentence is just as short:

1. Dick saw Jane.
2. Jane was seen.

It like arguing that you shouldn't use the present perfect tense because it adds an auxiliary verb into the mix.

3. Jane has seen Dick.
4. Jane saw Dick.

The two sentences are not the same.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
Haddock? Sounds fishy to me.
Yeah. It was. Goofy is right that it's Haddad, and not Haddock. I corrected the error.

As for the passive, yes, I agree that the passive voice has its place, particularly in reporting of scientific results. It's gets awfully old to say, "The researcher found."

However, in general I thought it reasonable. It surely is better than S&W.
 
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