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ERIC Number: ED038420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Good and Bad Public Prose.
Cockburn, Stewart
Opinion, v13 n2 p15-24 Sep 1969
The basic requirements of all good prose are clarity, accuracy, brevity, and simplicity. Especially in public prose--in which the meaning is the crux of the article or speech--concise, vigorous English demands a minimum of adjectives, a maximum use of the active voice, nouns carefully chosen, a logical argument with no labored or obscure points, and no florid rhetoric. Too often, educated students criticize the sensationalism of newspapers while they themselves show a propensity for writing obscurely and pretentiously. Many writers, however, such as Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill demonstrate that complex ideas can be communicated effectively in simple English with no ostentation. Although mass culture and mass education have become ruthless levellers of prose quality in public communication, teachers should foster each individual's ability to write competently on a complex subject while discouraging the influence of passing literary fashions. [Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document.] (JM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: South Australian English Teachers Association, Burnside.