Always Sparkle

9/27/2012 tringel 0 Comments

The are many interesting ideas in Sin and Syntax, each well thought out and explained. I am learning a great deal about grammar and words, and I can only hope that I will be able to apply this knowledge to my writing the way Hale explains we should to get the effect we want. I am sure it will be a working progress since I tend to ramble and my vocabulary is not as extensive as I would like (the synonyms tool in Microsoft Word is my best friend).

I have made a lot of connection throughout the chapters up to this point. One phrase that really stood out to me this week was in the adjective chapter on page 80. "That's the alchemy of adjectives: boiling down an excess of ideas to the essence of a thing, with words that surprise." Perhaps I am not interpreting it correctly, but as soon as I read this sentence, concept popped into my mind. I thought this was perfect to be reading as we are discussing and trying to come up with concepts this week as well for project three. "...boiling an excess of ideas to the essence of a thing..." Isn't that the same idea as a concept. Taking an idea or many ideas and transforming them into one exceptional concept that conveys it all in a memorable way. Hale is telling us to do this with words. Do not use an overabundant amount of words to describe something. It loses the meaning, gets lost in translation, becomes a bore. The sparkle is lost when you mask the one special word that says it all, just as multiple ideas can hide or distract from the actual message when creating a concept.

Clip Those Edges, page 91, was another section that I connected with instantly. Hale tells us to "omit needless words." Where I work, one of our mottos is 'constant reliability.' This makes absolutely no sense to me; why on earth do we need the word constant? This is a needless repetitive word in the context that it is used. Of course our reliability is constant, if it wasn't we wouldn't be reliable. After all, the definition of reliable is consistently good in quality or performance, trustworthy, dependable. The definition basically describes that we are constant, so there is no need to latch that on to the front of our motto. It is drowning the idea, and as I discussed above the extra word is overshadowing our concept. It dulls the sparkle.

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