Virtues of Style

Directness: for the most part, the writing is clear with only an occasional attempt flight into high-falutin' language or passes at untranslated French. Verbs and nouns are precise, and the style, for the most part, direct, but for the occasional attempts at a grand style: again, I think this is done to appeal to the reader who aspires to a grand style but doesn't have the ability to actually achieve it, either in reading or writing.

Economy: the writing uses a lot of filler language (e.g. "he puts into the mouth of the owner" instead of "the owner said") and some redundancy (e.g. "heir and successor"). The language is padded, though the sentence structure is not convoluted. Probably the reason for both is for the language to come across as lyrical and appealing to the wanna-be artist or writer.

Vividness: the writing uses concrete words. The primary use of abstraction is in the untranslated French, but again, I think this is done intentionally in order to appeal to the aspiring sophisticated artist or writer, who, if they were actually sophisticated, would be able to read French. There's not so much of it to distract greatly from the otherwise clear and vivid writing.

Energy: energy is reflected by compact, tight sentence structure, and the writing here tries to compromise between compactness and lyricism but using long sentences that are not convoluted--the phrasing and clause arrangement is straightforward--and by, if not having compact sentences, having compact clauses that make up the sentences, usually consisting of no more than three or four words. The rhythm of the entire piece ranges more towards lyricism than a energetic, staccato structure.

Standard Written English? I suppose if this piece meets this virtue, it depends on what genre of Standard Written English the reader uses as "standard". While the vocabulary of this piece is Standard Written English, if SWE is defined as what is found in textbooks, then grammatically this is not the same. The style is more lyrical. If SWE is allowed to contain more lyrical grammatical structures--called it "SWE - Fictive", then the style in this piece meets this virtue.


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