Monday, July 25, 2011

Imitative words

Imitative words are words which very sounds suggest their meaning. According to many linguistic theories, the first words spoken by man were imitations of sounds.

Our language today contains a great many imitative words, such as buzz, crackle, splash, wail. The use of imitative words is onomatopoeia, the words are onomatopoeic.

When you wish to use imitative words remember, that in general, verbs beginning with fl carry the idea of lightness and quickness of motion, as in float, flash, flame, flicker, flee, flutter, flow, fly, flit, flip.

Some words ending in -ash suggest a loud confused noise, as in crash, smash, splash, dash. The syllable -ang appears in many words suggestive of brazen resonance, as in clang, bang, rang, jangle.

The syllables -ink and -ing suggest cold brittleness, as in tinkle, clink, twinkle, jingle, tingle. О sound in suggestive of slowness, solemnity and often melancholy, as in toll, roll, flow, blow, old.


Argumentation - is any exchange of ideas designed to prove the truth or falsity of a definite statement, to influence either the behaviour or belief of an individual or a group. A great deal of our daily speech takes the form of an informal argument.

Every complete argument consists of 3 distinct parts: the introduction, the body, the conclusion.

The introduction is a statement of the proposition to be argued. The statement must be in the beginning of the discussion. It also must be an assertion. We cannot argue the subject "Immigration", for example; we must set up a statement with which someone may reasonably differ, as, perhaps, "Restricted immigration is a menace to the welfare of the United States."

The body of the argument is the proceeding when every participant of the argument gives the reasons for the opinion he holds. There are 6 kinds of proof which could be used to support one's own opinion:

1. General illustrations.
2. Specific illustrations.
3. Personal testimony.
4. Testimony of other witnesses.
5. Written evidence.
6. Circumstantial evidence.

The conclusion of the argument is what may be justly inferred from the facts presented, when all the proof has been assembled and shown to be trustworthy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ways to achieve the essential clearness of the exposition

Exposition is an explanation of a theory, plan. Half of our speech is exposition, though we may not be aware of that fact. It plays an important part in our everyday relationships. The office equipment salesman explains to his prospective buyer the superiority of steel desks over those made of wood; the physician explains to his patient the dangers of infection; the mother explains to her child what makes the day and night.

Exposition has as its object making clear a general term or principle. In this it differs from description and narration, both of which describe specific instances of things. If you embody description and narration in your explanation, you must subordinate them.

There are few simple rules that everyone can follow to achieve the essential clearness of the exposition:

1) know your subject matter thoroughly;
2) present your statements in logical order; (start with the simple and proceed to the complex);
3) be as brief as is consistent with an adequate explanation;
4) suit your language to your audience;
5) illustrate general principles by concrete examples; (introduce comparison, contrast, description, narration);
6) use precise terms;
7) make exact statements.

Perhaps, the most familiar kind of formal exposition is the newspaper or magazine editorial, because they use some event of immediate interest as an example of a general truth.
Other forms of exposition are the essay, the monograph and the treatise (textbooks and other long didactic explanations).

Narration and its kinds


In the early dawn of civilization there was story-telling - a form of entertainment and information, that exists even today. Bards were minstrels, who arranged the information on the historic events of the time in simple song and story. Due to them the information was handed down from generation to generation long before any form of writing was invented. The bards were, perhaps, the first to invent memory systems. Thus the art of narration developed. Narration is a record (account) of either real or imaginary events. Narratives may consist of a single sentence as well as run into many volumes.

Kinds of narration

The simplest classification divides narratives into two major groups - simple and complex. Simple narratives include personal experiences, biography and history. We may relate incidents of which we know personally, we may repeat what has been told to us, or we may tell about something we have read.

Simple narratives are grouped according to the manner of presentation into:

1) a simple catalogue of incidents, such as those included in diaries, ships' logs, minutes of meetings, etc.;
2) reports that announce the point in the opening, as given in the newspaper articles, some magazine articles, and some speeches:
3) interesting and natural stories.
The so-called complex narratives usually take the form of short stories or novels. This form must have a plot.
Both simple and complex narratives may be authentic or imaginary. The elements of narration

There are three elements in a narrative: the characters about whom the story is told; the plot -
the action of the story; the background or setting - the place and time at which the story is set.

Ways of arrangement of incidents:
1) traditional opening by the four w's - that is an account of who the characters were, where the action took place, when it took place, and why the incident is being related.
2) adhering to a strict chronological order in which the events happened;
3) beginning with an interesting incident in the middle of the tail and later going back and gathering up the introductory incidents.

The impression of rapid action is secured by:
1) omitting all but the essential facts;
2) using short crisp sentences;
3) using many short words that denote quick motion

When the desired effect is one of slow movement the technique is the reverse of that just outlined: 
1) use many details;
2) use longer sentences;
3) use longer words, many suggestive of slow motion.

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