Style comparisons in writing

"Severe rising unemployment is a looming crisis threatening nation."
"Rising unemployment is a problem that we will need to solve."

1. Which of the above quotes shows more URGENCY and concern?

2. Which words express that sense?

Most dogs are interested in squirrels.
Squirrels are of interest to most dogs, including my Rita, who flings herself against the porch door when she sees one.

1. Which sentence is more direct? What makes it that way?

2. Which sentence seems more complex and uses a more unusual order of words? Describe what is different about the word order.

From Geraldo No Last Name (Vignette by Sandra Cisneros)

She met him at a dance. Pretty too, and young. Said he worked in a restaurant, but she can’t remember which one. Geraldo. That’s all. Green pants and Saturday shirt. Geraldo.That’s what he told her. And how was she to know she’d be the last one to see him alive? An accident, don’t you know. Hit-and-run. Marin, she goes to all those dances. Uptown. Logan. Embassy. Palmer. Aragon. Fontana. The Manor. She likes to dance.

From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged by the scarcity of gentlemen to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to overhear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes to press his friend to join it. “Come, Darcy,” he said, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.” “I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it..."

1. Which of the passages has more sophisticated (fancy and higher-level) language? Give a few examples.

2. Which of the passages has very short or incomplete sentences? Give a few examples.

3. Which of the passages reads more like the way people really talk to each other? What is something that makes it that way?

“Between 1879 and 1920, approximately 20 million Europeans arrived in the United States. Before 1890, most immigrants came from countries in western and northern Europe, including Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany. Beginning in the 1890s, however, increasing numbers came from southern and eastern Europe, especially Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.”
“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?” —from “Ain't I a Woman?” by Sojourner Truth

1. Which passage seems more scientific or like a textbook?

2. Which passage gives you more of a picture in your mind?


Created with images by Tobyotter - "Different Styles" • Mike Licht, - "Trump Victory Greeted With Global Financial Panic" • Ed Bierman - "Old Fences" • Phagan Photos - "Slow Dancing" • kekko64 - "Tramonto sul grano Sunset on wheat field"

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