Monday, October 18, 2010

Things to add to Frank Stewart's list of style elements

As you recall, Frank pointed out that the following elements characterize an author's style:
1. Level of diction (big words, Latinate words, slang words, foreign words)
2. Sentence structure (long sentences, short sentences, complex, simple, fragments, parallel and formal)
3. Punctuation (dashes instead of semicolons, full stops rather than commas or semicolons, exclamations)
4. Paragraphing (short or long, for emphasis or whole thoughts)
5. Tone (serious, silly, sarcastic, witty, lofty)
6. Person (first, second, third; one rather than you or we)
I added one element soon after I posted his list: references and allusions. Today I thought of another: metaphors and similes. I'll bring to class an example of the latter.

1 comment:

Pat said...

Here is the example of a distinctive metaphor I meant to share with the class:

The old name, the Squamish name, for this overshadowed island is Xwlil'xhwm: a stony protuberance of meaning cloaked in a forest of evergreen consonants, which I think it is worth learning to pronounce.—Robert Bringhurst, from "Fast Drumming Ground"