freshman comp

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 9 15:19:22 UTC 2010

As a former Director of Freshman English at Duke, I'd have suggested that Barbara rethink her judgment. The interpretation of the passage is clear, and if indeed the putatively unusual reference causes a momentary "shock" for some readers, the change of pace is stylistically refreshing--and functional, in TBat it draws special attention to the content: the crimes (if that is what they are) of the perp.

You can of course argue that the editorial history of the passage indicates that the author did not intend the stylistically effect that I assert the passage has. But that is irrelevant to how the reader would be affected. The reader knows nothing about the history of the passage.  Moreover, one can just as well argue that the opposite is true, ie., the author felt the changes actually improved the sentences.


Barbara wrote:

As a some-time composition instructor, even with a fuller context, I
would have marked this example as a problem.


Barbara Need
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The American Dialect Society -

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