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ERIC Number: ED388985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Coming to Terms with Clarity.
Deans, Tom
Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers, v8 n7 p4-6
There are three distinct ways that the metaphor of "clarity" is employed in rhetorical history and in daily interchanges, correlating to three ways of looking at language, in turn correlating to three approaches to teaching writing. What is being proposed is more of a taxonomy than a pedagogy, but this taxonomy is important because of its implications for teaching. There are three "motives of clarity": (1) the conventional, (2) the economical, and (3) the rhetorical. The first metaphorical understanding of "clarity" has to do with values and power, seemingly non-negotiable rules, right and wrong. Here "clarity" is associated with "correctness," with abiding by conventional rules of grammar, usage, argument and genre. The second metaphorical understanding of clarity is "economic"; it is primarily concerned with the efficiency of written communication. Here, clarity is less concerned with convention than with the cost-effective transmission of information. A lack of clarity, in this sense, is a wordiness or haphazardness or use of the figurative that demands too much time and linguistic attention of the reader. The third metaphorical understanding of "clarity" is "rhetorical," that is, it affirms real and situated readers and writers and is concerned with their capacity to "see" one another, to create meaning together through the text. Here clarity is what works to achieve the writer's purpose with a particular audience. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A