freshman comp (UNCLASSIFIED)

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 9 19:42:35 UTC 2010

Bill is absolutely right.

The point I was trying to make was that clarity cannot be the only goal in effective writing--rhetorical effectiveness and maintaining reader interest and alertness are necessary as well. Certainly a medical chart is no time for poetry. But news reports use all sorts of tropes and stylistic devices, and readers and listeners expect something more than an engineering manual.

Bill wrote:

I would (gently) argue against Ron's phrasing above.  Absolute
linguistic clarity is a virtue in most all technical writing that I'm
familiar with (as an electrical engineer, by trade), and I can't imagine
that it isn't the supreme goal in medicine or other fields of scientific
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