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Crowley and Hawhee on Style, part 2 – English 328: Writing, Style, & Technology
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Crowley and Hawhee on Style, part 2

This is where we’ll discuss the second part of the reading about Style from Sharon Crowley and Deborah Hawhee’s book, Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. It’s a lot of stuff to digest, isn’t it?!  Just keep in mind that the goal is not to memorize every little figure/trope/ornament/etc. of style; rather, the goal is to get sort of a general handle on it so you can make some connections between this reading and the analysis of a YouTube commercial.

Again, I think Crowley and Hawhee are pretty clear; I have some of my own notes/comments after the “Continued” part.

  • This second part begins with “figures of thought,” which I think is kind of interestingly different from figures of language.  As I read it, “figures of language” are mostly about arrangement and even the length of sentences– the literal language– while with “figures of thought,” the rhetor/speaker/writer is trying to actually make an argument of sorts, or at least an appeal to the thinking of an audience to convince them of something.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans named and categories TONS of figures, tropes, etc.  Crowley and Hawhee are just offering what I guess might be called “the greatest hits,” believe it or not.  If you are interested in seeing even more examples, check out “A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples,” which offers some different figures/tropes and also some different examples and definitions of what Crowley and Hawhee offer here.
  • Finally, just to remind everyone what we’re doing here:  I’m not asking you to read this to memorize these items for a test, and believe me, if I was forced to define what hyperbole or zeguma in a “closed book” test, I’d be in trouble.  Rather, what I’m hoping you are seeing is a different side to this notion of “style,” and how the ways that ancients thought of dividing up these things still makes a certain amount of sense today.

Posted in Class Readings.

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