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Monday, May 23, 2011

Mark Turner

Turner, the co-author of Clear and Simple as the Truth, a book I've been touting here, is also the co-author, with linguist George Lakoff, of another book that had a big impact on me, More Than Clear Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. The cognitive psychology base in Clear and Simple rarely comes out explicitly, but it is definitely present behind the scenes. I can find a few places where the authors draw explicitly on the cognitive theory of the mind. For example, when they point to sentences that are difficult to follow because they don't embody the normal patterns of thought. I'd like to ask Turner about this.

And yes, I've checked, it is the same guy.

2 comments:

Clarissa said...

This is a manual on a good writing style that I never read. Would you say it's better than Strunk & White? This is what I've been using to improve my writing, and I feel like it really helped. Should I get this one and will it be very different from S&W?

Jonathan said...

Throw Strunk and White in the trash. Get Claire Cook's "Line by Line" first, along with "Toward Clarity and Grace" by Joseph Williams. I'd buy "Clear and Simple as the Truth" as well, but it is not writing manual in the same way. It won't help you revise your writing line the way Cook or Williams will.