Commenting on Make Me Think about Tailoring My Text

26 Jan 2015 - In draft

Price reduces the potential relationship between writer-persona and reader-persona to four generic types. These seem to work as guides. They name a relationship between writer-persona and reader-persona and not a normative state. That is, a persona created to help a colleague become more aware is constructed differently than the persona to help a freshman student become aware. The implied audience is more or less present in the text.

The basis is this:
You, as a content creator, use language and other elements to shape a text that enables the niche reader to imagine themselves in the role you're creating for them. To teach means you're the teacher and the other is the student, etc.

Part 1 is basically about Style

Price in chaps 1 - 4 writes about what to do but doesn't say much about how to do it. That's the job of rhetoric.

Price discusses creating a stance toward a niche audience, and how it's created using style, tone, attitude. That means we need to focus on style.

The perception of a style is created from a (more or less patterned) collection of specific rhetorical choices. That is, an acute style is created by making particular choices in words, content, structure, et al ...

Considering style can be methodical. Either start small - at the word and sentence level - and work towards the large - to considerations of the whole work overall. Or go back and forth between fine-grained and global.

When addressing elements of style, start with the words rather than your reaction. You're seeking to explain how stylistic moves work to create the writer-persona and reader-persona. Your aim is focus on the text and how it works - not the writer, not the reader, but the implied writer and implied reader.

Consider what kind of attention is being paid from implied rhetor to implied audience - what relationship between writer persona and reader persona is being created by the text. Then consider what rhetorical choices in the text are allowing the reader to assume that role/persona.

Stylistic affordances
Consider how else the persona can be read - and what makes that possible. eg: The second persona in Joel's notes will likely provoke a range of readings because the reader-persona it constructs can be difficult to assume.

Notes on Classical Style

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All styles engage in these virtues to a greater or lesser degree.



High Style or Grand Style
Middle Style
Low or Plain Style

Qualities of Style

These are descriptive terms that need substantiation in how the text actually is constructed. All elements of style are in play with these: word choices, sentence length can construction, paragraph construction, whole-text construction, use of structural elements ...

The terms are fuzzy - most of them more like impressions than good descriptive terms - but they are a starting point from which to work. Use them to think about personas and creating impressions. If the latin gets in the way, Google the term. If you keep the virtues in mind, moderation will guide your understanding of the term. Each character is created by how words are used.

acutus - acute
aequabile - equitable, morally right, just. Measured prose.
affectus - fondess, compassion. Go too far and this style becomes affected.
ambitio (cacozelia) - ambitious pomp. Go too far and it's currying favor or pandering
aspera - aspiring
brevitas - brief
celeriter - quick, swift
claritas - clear
coloratum (pingue, pichiologia)
copia - copious: enlarging
cultus - cultivated
dignitas - dignified
energia - energetic (manic!)
evidentia (enargia)
floridum - florid
foedus - foul, filthy, loathsome
gravitas - serious
humilia - humble
incitatio - vehement, arduous
languida (paresin)
licentia -
magna - great, large. Magna cum laude, for instance.
obscuritas - obscur
perspicuitas - perpispacious
proprietas - propitious. Engage in propriety
simplicitas - simple
tediosum (nulla varietas, homologia)
tumiditas (bomboliogia)

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