You Got Style
· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·
September 28, 2004
· Home on the Range of Texas Gobbledygook ·
I begin this way because I'm into sawing Texas old-growth today, not George W. Bush's (though his Prairie Chapel Ranch does produce some), but Maury Maverick's. Maverick's the New-Deal Democrat who invented the apt political term "Gobbledygook."
I just learned this in Michael Lind's Made in Texas: George Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics (2003). Grandson of that famous Maverick whose unbranded calves became connected with deviant politicians, then independent individuals, Maverick lambasted empty political language in 1944.
Though I'd not endorse Maverick's move, its moral equivalent does seem appealing. I say this today in a charitable spirit of voter education. Consider, for instance, Jocolo's thoughts over at A Writing Teacher's Blog yesterday:
Despite Laura Bush's librarian-like efforts to encourage good reading, I think George Bush will never fully understand what the great Canadian Northrop Frye once more seriously had in mind for genuine literacy. Frye wrote in his book The Educated Imagination (1964) this thought, perhaps anticipating the President's famous seven-minute reading, on September 11, 2001, in Florida:
Well, I must conclude with one more Canadian voice, that of the late Bernard Lonergan, from his great book Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957). A brilliant theologian, Lonergan is like the Rev. above, praying, bless his soul, for that Presidential turkey on the right.
Want four more years, anyone?Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
September 23, 2004
· The Last Acquirement of the Educated Mind ·
But I am rather stuck at home reading, without even the print version of the essay that, in 1916, prompted the university's academic tradition: Alfred North Whitehead's The Aims of Education (1929). It's still a thoughtful text. Its triple demarcation of learning's stages — up to sixth grade, then twelfth, then beyond (Romance, Precision, and Generalization) — alone justifies its study.
You may already be familiar with Whitehead's peroration, but what interests me is rather his seldom-included addition, wherein he introduces us, through Style, to something larger, Power.
Although I like Whitehead's concluding sentiment — well and rightly quoted in English composition handbooks — it is not, however, his last word on education's stages. Clearly, we can see as much in what he adds:
I do like his advice, and urge folks to follow it, suggesting also that they ask along with Whitehead: "Where, then, does style help?"
Not bad advice — not just for the young, but also for the young-at-heart.Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
September 16, 2004
· Grecian-Formula Style ·
But I might say I'm back in form. The summer has taken me and my wife from here to Minnesota and back with regrets only that "Time does fly when you're having fun, and having later remodeling chores at home." Now I'm mindful of still more to come, what with a new school year starting. I heard about "pedagogical models" yesterday and worked today with a past student finishing an incomplete on tort reform (I want to bill by the hour, but I'm only salaried here).
Well, too many words, too little time!
But Hardy Hansen maybe knows how to tell that old story in Greek Style.
Do enjoy!Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
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Home on the Range of Texas Gobbledygook
The Last Acquirement of the Educated Mind
Figures & Tropes
Grammar & Syntax