106. Reading Skills Comprehension: STYLE

By | May 28, 2020

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1. The style is a way of writing, a manner of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings in words. The matter remaining the same, the manner may change. It may he high sounding. It may be simple and yet emotional. It may be plain, just a brief statement without feelings. It may show a lack of decency. The same fact may have a different effect on the reader because of variations in styles.
2. Some simple people think that style, or what they might call ‘good style’ or ‘literary style’, is something that can be added to plain thoughts or a plain statement of facts, as icing can be put on to a cake. A student once said to me, “I have written my report, but I have brought it to you to put some style into It.” I could not put style into it. It was already written in a certain style, though it may not have been a very good style. I could have re-written it in a different style. Then it would have been my arrangement of facts, my choice of words, my style. As a man thinks and feels, so will he write? If his thoughts are muddled, his style will also be muddled. If his thoughts are clear and sharp, his writing will be clear and sharp.
3  There is another common use of the word ‘style’. You may have been told at some time by a history teacher when he returned your essay ‘Your facts are quite correct but your style is poor’. He probably meant by this, not that your essay did not adequately express your personality, but that your facts were not well-organized and not arranged in a logical sequence of apt and agreeable words. In this sense, the word ‘style’ is often used to mean good, clear English. Raymond Chapman states ‘Bad writing is caused not so much by mistakes in grammar as by weakness in style’. Weakness in style here means clumsiness in expression, lack of precision and accuracy, and anything that hinders the writer from conveying his meaning clearly to the reader.

4   Style in this sense means ‘Clean English’. I choose this term because it seems to me the best way of describing English that is clear and doing its job of conveying meaning clearly to the reader. It has nothing to do, of course, with decency or indecency. The commonest weakness of all writers of English, whether in England or outside it, is lack of cleanness in the use of the language. All writers of English, even those without the faintest trace of literary ambition, should try to keep their English as clean as they can. Words are the tools of thought. If they become rusty and dirty, and lose their sharp points, thinking itself becomes less efficient. Man needs language for the control of his environment, and, the cleaner his language, the better his control. It is well to remember that it is our duty to civilization to keep our language as clean and sharp as we can.

1. Based on your understanding of the passage, complete the following sentences :

(a) ‘Style’ in the passage refers to

(b) The writer could not ‘put any style’ into his student’s report because.  

 (c) When the history teacher talks of an improper style in an essay she may refer to

 (d) According to Raymond Chapman, style in English is caused by _________and _______.

2. Find the words from the passage that mean the same-

Refer Para I     Showing strong feeling                       (a)______________________________________

Refer Para 2    Put into disorder or mixed up            (b)______________________________________

Refer Para 4    Strong desire for something               (c)______________________________________

Refer Para 4   achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort         


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