Rachel's Blog

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lesson 10 Summary in Style

Lesson 10 of Style Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, discusses the importance of ethical writing. Writers must write clear and elegant sentences for readers to understand them and for their own sake. A writer needs to write with the reader’s understanding in mind. We may understand our ideas, but that does not mean other people will. Our sentences must be trustworthy and not mislead our readers. It is one thing to de-emphasize ideas and quite another to avert responsibility for our ideas. When writers manipulate or purposely write too complexly, readers lose interest or trust in that writer. However, readers too have a responsibility to delve further into their intelligence and extract meaning from a writer. Williams describes this interaction between the writer and reader as a contract. The writer is responsible for the ethos in what they write and the reader needs to try and understand. Some acceptable exceptions to this rule exist.
If a writer wishes to discuss an idea that is still in the educational or intellectual process, it might be difficult to write in a manner for which a reader can understand. We also may reword our ideas to show kindness to our audience or to avoid offending our audience. Bosses, speech writers, and company representatives use these two methods to interact effectively with their audiences. However, the significance of this lesson still remains the importance for the writer to write clearly and the reader to understand.

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