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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


There is too much shame in academic writing. Nobody should feel bad about normal editing or stylistic suggestions. This being said, most stylistic suggestions, even for a very advanced writer, are going to be very basic. In other words, most failure is at the base of the pyramid rather than at the top. Nobody should be ashamed at making basic mistakes, because most stylistic blunders are basic for almost everyone. Of course I pay attention to nuance here, and address the finer points, but what trips up most people is basic clarity.


Andrew Shields said...

The basic stuff, like the singing techniques that the coaches showed the students in the singing workshop I attended a while back (and blogged about a few years ago, but I've linked to the post about that here before, so I won't do it again).

As long as the singers kept having basic problems, they could not thrill us, and similarly, the thrill of good writing doesn't come from getting the basic stuff right, but if the basic stuff isn't right, there won't be a thrill.

Jonathan said...

That's why when my daughter had a trumpet lesson with a very eminent player, the lesson was devoted mostly to breathing and breath control. Without that breath, there is very little a player can do. But the breath is necessary and not sufficient.