Style in Writing
- Length: 1352 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Do the styles around us influence the way we think and the way we speak and write? From the time of elementary school to the present, people learn different styles. We learn how to use different styles at different times. People take these different styles and apply them into writing and conversations.
Society has made certain styles more appropriate at times then other styles. For example we speak differently at church then we speak at a bar. Society sets standards on where we use a certain style. Imagine if somebody at church was swearing consistently in a conversation. Everybody would think he was rude and would talk about him after he left. But if this guy was in a bar and had a few beers, no one would think much about it.
Style in writing has been set in many ways by the official style. Who set this official style and why do we need to follow it? It is expected in many of our college classes that we need to use the official style when we write papers. This English class was the first time I have looked at different styles of writing besides the official style. All the other English classes that I have taken in the past like to focus on how to write in the official style. The writer needs a theme and the whole paper needs to be in a certain format.
The paper has rules to follow and if we donÕt use them, are grade will suffer. When I try and write in the official style, I write in phrases that I would normally never say when I am talking to another person. But by using the official style we are suppose to sound educated and it makes us sound like we know what we are talking about. If two papers are written and one is in the official style and the other is not and someone reads them both; which one would they consider was written by someone with a higher education? ThatÕs an easy one. Then there is the hard working construction worker who doesnÕt give a crap about the official style.
Certain people have set up the official style as the correct way to write. Would not people rather read things that are easily understood and can comprehend what the writer is saying; or would they rather read some paper that is long winded and full of information, but they can not comprehend what they read unless they look over it a few times.
By using The Paramedic Method given by Lanham, a person can take the official style and shorten it up and still keep the meaning in the writing. By practicing revising the official style, the writer will become aware of how to write not using the official style. The paper will then have more rhythm and flow better. It will become easier for the reader to understand what the writer is saying.
Now lets leave the official style and go back to different styles in speaking. Styles influence the way we talk. Style changes the words we choose to speak. In the last few days I have paid attention to some of the styles I have came across. In the classroom there is a style of the teacher giving a lecture, while students listen and ask questions or give responses to questions given by the teacher. While the teacher is speaking the students donÕt interrupt because it is inappropriate. Nobody will question the teacher wrong; the students listen and try to interpret what the teacher is saying. There is almost a set standard for the style we use in the classroom. There are some exceptions for certain classes where the style is more freely spoken.
Then after class I traveled to the hockey rink. When your out on the ice there is the hockey style that is spoken. The main concentration is hockey and all that is thought about on the ice is the game. Your planning your next move ahead of time. The style during hockey is completely different then the style spoken in the classroom. Emotions are flaring and the competition is controlling the attitudes of the players. The style is controlled by the emotions of the player and his tactics he is thinking on the ice. One second your feeling happy because you just made a great save and next your angry because you just got beat and the opposing team scored against you. What the player feels on the ice and the concentration of the game, will give the style that is spoken by the player.
After the game I came home and talked to my roommates. I changed from the hockey style to what I say when I am around home. My roommates donÕt understand hockey as I do, so then I lose the hockey style to communicate with my roommates. When I communicate with my roommates there is a free flowing style. It doesnÕt matter much what a person says, because nobody takes anything to serious. It is a fun atmosphere with everyone joking around all the time. If I were to use this style in public, people would probably think I am crazy and losing my mind. It is a style that is trusted among the roommates; what is said stays within the house and doesnÕt leave the house. I prefer this style but if I were to use it in society I wouldnÕt get a very good reaction to it. Society has control over the styles we use in public.
After I talked to my roommates for a while, I left home and went up to the bar for a few drinks. The bar has one of the most interesting styles. A person can never know what they are going to hear. Its a style that doesnÕt have many boundaries. In the classroom certain things are inappropriate, but at the bar there does not seem to be the standard that is in the classroom. The bar is a public place and what we say should be a consideration, but the alcohol sometimes has an influence and things just seem to flow out of our mouths. Things we would not normally say in public.
If you look at your conversation and style when you got to the bar and compare it with the style and conversation when you leave the bar. I donÕt think it is quite the same style. The alcohol influences the drinker and it relaxes the conversation. The style is a open style and you never know where the conversation is going to go. Stories are told and stories are stretched. Have you ever sat there and listened to a story told by one of your friends and you were with them when it happened? He has had a few beers and stretches the story to lets say a eight pound walleye, when really it was only a four pound walleye. He makes the story sound good but you just sit back and laugh inside. The bar seems to be a free atmosphere for style. Society does not have complete control over your style, but there still is a influence over what you say. As a person we donÕt want society to put a outcast on us and make them think we are a bad person. We control our style to meet the standards of society.
Society sets styles that we are suppose to follow. For example in the classroom, out in public and the official style. But there are other styles that are free for us to choose what style we want to use. These examples are the hockey style or the style among roommates. Society doesnÕt have to control are style all the time. We can express different style through writing and by not following the official style and using LanhamÕs advice in Revising Prose. We need to be aware of the different styles around us. Being aware of different styles not only can help us in writing, but it can also help us in everyday life.