Style: What it isn’t

“. . . a prose style is like a haircut; we can ignore our hair or cut it off completely, but we can’t choose not to have a hairstyle at all.” – Peter Richardson

Richardson points out that many people think of style as something, well, fluffy, especially when it comes to writing.

What writing style isn’t:

  1. Decoration and ornamentation;
  2. Opposite of substance;
  3. Inferior to substance;
  4. Not for “serious people in the real world”;
  5. The “dress of thought”;
  6. Superficial and inferior to “real thinking”;
  7. Baggy, pointless prose.

The fact is that style is a constant thought process while we are right. It may sometimes be subconscious, but how we put words together, how we convey our message through words, reveals a constant process and stylistic choosing.

The textbook is set to teach practical style, useful most often for students and web writers, meant to be “consistently useful in our everyday lives.” The lessons to take place throughout are focused on building this sense of style.

This post is part of a series on writing style.

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One Response to Style: What it isn’t

  1. Melody Jones says:

    Ah yes, “fluffy”. As a writer of humor, I find some think humor in and of itself is fluffy and without substance. And then there is the style in which humor is written, so some see me as double fluffy! Okay, now that’s pretty funny.

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