First off, this is ridiculous. I have never felt so uneducated as I have after reading this. Thank you to my dictionary for getting me through this assignment. Here goes nothing. (side note: I AM totally responsible for messing up the semantics of the original paragraphs, because of my inability to fully comprehend the text to begin with.)
Notes from the chapter:
cut out: emphasizing words, repetitive stuff, unnecessary detail, short paragraphs (helps skimming), use words we know, get rid of exaggerations, be direct, 2-3 levels of headings, (basically don't do what Allbutt did)


Allbutt's Composition Notes


Introduction

Although I want to amuse you all with grandiose prose, I won't. Take this advice instead; the message will decline if your words are too showy. Even in Virgil or Tennyson, their appealing form excites us. If we focus on a the main thought as we read, the writing appears good. If we focus on the phrases used to represent the main fact, the writing is redundant.

Word Choice/ Science vs. Literature

Read Bright's well-known appeal "The Angel of Death is abroad through the land; we may almost hear the beating of his wings." Did you think of the words in that sentence? What if he used "flapping of his wings" instead of beating? Would it make a difference? Literature is not merely the art of expression but also the creation of thought and emotion. Scientific prose is rarely literature. It is a language of correct thinking and therefore gets recognized and then forgotten. Scientific prose still needs to be written with a level of appeal, because bad prose is bad business.

Sounds of the Text

Trust the ear; rougher rhythms and inharmonious sounds will drag. If you struggle reading it, revise it.
Allbutt's Examples: The flow of a chief sentence in a recent report ended with "unsolicitedly." which reminds us of a looper caterpillar. "Of all I have known he could least hold his own," is not only an untimely assonance but imparts the alien rhythm of verse. Read "recurrences of this kind are found to abound" The last part, "found to abound" is unsettling to the ear. Revise it.


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