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Strunk and White analysis

One of the most beneficial aspects of this reading was in Chapter II. In section 1, “form the possessive singular of nouns with‘s,” they used the table reading “Charles’s friend/Burns’s poems/the witch’s malice” (Strunk and White, 3). I found this helpful because throughout the course of my writing and editing career, I could never get this one down. Writing “Charles’ friend” or “Charles’s friend” both look right, and for some reason, I could never lock that down.

When I first started reading this, I didn’t think there was going to be a lot that I wouldn’t understand, but as it so happened, there was something I could pull from it right in the beginning.

One part that I found dated, however, was Section 8 in Chapter II, stating, “If there is room at the end of a line for one or more syllables of a word, but not for the whole word, divide the word, unless this involves cutting off only a single letter, or cutting off only two letters of a long word,” (Strunk and White, 10).

I found this to be outdated because with word processing, this is done automatically, or the entire word is brought down to the next line. While it appears to be helpful, which it no doubt was when people used note pads more, with today’s use of computers, it’s simply not necessary.

One other section I found to be rather outdated was Number 18 in Chapter III, stating “Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end,” (Strunk and White, 28).

I found this to be outdated because of the way the sentences in the examples were presented. And also, where is the line drawn between words that are emphatic and words that are not? I felt this one to be rather unhelpful to me.

Overall, there was a lot more helpful information in this book than there was unhelpful. I knew a good portion of it, but there are always little aspects of writing that someone might now know, and this book is perfect for that. While yes, some of it is written in a manner that could be communicated better to today’s generation of young writers, many of the tips remain helpful to a writer of any level.


Peer Review Recap

I’ll start this off with the biggest pain with the peer review thus far — I hate GoogleDocs. I’m very accustomed to Word, and I like using the Track Changes option. With my paper, I received somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 e-mail alerts. It’s annoying and I don’t like it.

Now that I got that off my chest, the biggest trend I saw in comments on mine were that it wasn’t thorough enough. I know this because it’s a draft — of course it’s not going to be thorough, of course things are going to be missing. Some people have their whole papers as a draft, but I do not. I like to have a basic overlay of what I want to do, then go from there. That’s just how I do it.

As far as comments I dished out, I tried to keep it strictly grammatical. These papers are so opinion and “I think that…”-oriented that I like to leave people’s ideas alone. I’ve noticed a lot of other peer editors doing that, and I don’t like it. Someone’s opinion in a peer edit isn’t necessarily correct, so the writer shouldn’t feel obligated to make an edit.

I see more cons than pros with peer editing these types of papers. People have their own opinions, and a lot of the times they, as a peer editor, try to influence what they would prefer in the paper. As a writer and editor, I try my best to leave those types of situations alone. It’s okay to make a suggestion, but not to say something is wrong because you’d like it a different way. I’ve seen too much of that, in my opinion.

I like peer editing for things like research papers. Not papers where your opinions matter, mainly because I don’t trust the people reading them. While this is a high-level English class, I know that not all of my classmates are professionals or are going to be a professional editor some day. While I find it beneficial for things like grammar — you can’t have enough eyes on your work — I find it sometimes ineffective when peer editors try to institute their own ideas into someone else’s work.


Considering some YouTube commerical examples…

Below are two of the commercials I chose for this project:

I already knew what commercial I wanted the second I got into this project — it’s the one on top. Without using any spoken word, this commercial says a TON. The use of the graphics combined with the message, and the way it goes up this “tower” is incredibly interesting to me. It’s couldn’t be better for this type of project.

The Dos Equis commercial is funny, but it uses a lot of great lines to get the point across to exactly how interesting the Most Interesting Man in the World is. It’s fantastic.

Peer Review Process

I was never a fan of peer review growing up. It always seemed like just another tedious task, and the person that is reading my work likely knew less than me (not to sound arrogant).

But as I’ve gone through it throughout my college career, especially in classes like this, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful. For English and Journalism classes, having my work read by as many sets of eyes as possible couldn’t be more beneficial. Everyone is capable of mistakes, so the more people looking over it can catch those.

It’s also great if you’re stumped, like I was with my paper. It allows me to have my peer reviewer give me some questions to move that writer’s block out of the way, and that’s the instance that happened with mine.

Now, I have a lot more outlets to use when finishing my paper up. I wouldn’t have gotten those had my paper not been peer reviewed.

As far as reviewing, I like reading and I like editing. It’s been a major part of my job, so it’s nothing neither difficult nor tedious. I like helping people out with their writing. I’m pretty good at it, in my opinion, and I like to help others improve.

My Own Writing Technology

Below is the writing technology I chose to use. I decided to go with the woodchips because it would give it an “earthy” look. It didn’t take too long to put together, obviously, but it did take some thinking when selecting the right pieces. My original intent was to use a rock on a larger rock, but rain foiled those plans. I thought this would get the same natural effect.

My inspiration for the message “Yahoo for school” you might ask? Billy Madison was on my DVR.

Yahoo for school! Yahoo for me!

My Writing Technologies

I work in publishing, so I’m surrounded by writing technologies every day. In fact, as you may note, I’m using one right now.

As a journalist as well, I use different writing technologies as well. I’ll use the simple pen and paper. Never pencil — I hate having to click a mechanical or sharpen a regular.

I use the regular old keyboard, as I am now, as well as different software, depending on what I’m doing. I’ll use InDesign if I’m doing some design work, Word if I’m writing a paper, Excel for a spreadsheet… you get my drift.

In my lifetime, I’ve pretty much used the same writing tools — pen and paper or a computer. I remember in first grade typing on one of those original Macintosh’s (not a Mac, but a Macintosh) or writing in a notebook. Not much has changed since those days, only pens have gotten a little nicer (Pilot g2’s are the BEST) and computers have obviously improved, making writing faster and easier.

I don’t see this changing for me. Nothing, that I can conjure up at least, will replace a pen and paper or a keyboard and monitor. Writing seems to have established itself, and until there’s a word processor that reads minds, I think these are the tools I’ll be using in the future as well.

What is Style?

Style is who or whatever has created it.

I see it as a set of rules or guidelines that instruct a writer how to write or develop something. It keeps everything in unison — meaning no matter the topic, everything that is presented will look seamlessly integrated.

A style can be, like I said above, a set of rules. It can also be a voice, direction, or even a topic. A style for a website can be “a┬ásatirical┬átake on politics” or a “consumer view into technology.” The style is whatever the editor or creator wants to portray. It’s both superficial (AP style) and “between the lines” (the voice used).

Without style, there is no form.