English Instructor 18, Revising Prose, anthonyhalderman.com

background music background music background music Welcome to English instructor just another
beautiful day in paradise. Today we’ll talk about an oldie but
goodie video titled Revising Prose. Revising Prose
which originally came out in 1981 has been a very popular video among college and university English
departments. The author Richard Lanham basically
contrasts two writing styles. The first is the official style which he suggests
we try to avoid. His remedy to the official style is his paramedic method. Doctor Lanham identifies 5 primary
characteristics with the official style. First, he says
the official style is euphemistic and indirect. Next, it’s
a noun style which relies more heavily on nouns
instead of active verbs for example education instead of educate. Next official style employs the passive
voice which comes across as impersonal. Next it
has long wind ups and it takes time to get things going
which I interpret to mean the sentences lack a strong subject. Last official style employees many be verbs
which are then followed by prepositional phrases. Of course doctor Lanham encourages
writers to avoid these five characteristics. Revising Prose provides many examples of
the official style. One example is, “There’s a good deal love circumstantial evidence in support
at this scheme.” Doctor Lanham’s paramedic method will
help us revise and improve this sentence. We interrupt your program English
instructor to bring you news and views and while
you’re watching news and views be sure to notice some of the vocabulary. You may even want to get a little help from a friend teacher or dictionary. What’s your name and
what do you do? My name is Claudia and I’m a marine biologist and children’s book author. Wow, that’s interesting. What inspired you to take on such an endeavor? Well, I was doing research in the coral triangle and I founded a non-profit called the Mermaid Islands
Corporation and uh we were teaching coral reef ecology and basic literacy to a lot of the little tribal kids. uhm and then the idea of the book was born. Very good. What challenges did you encounter while completing your project? The challenges were I think just making sure everything was scientifically accurate because There’s a lot of sea creatures and I wanted to make sure that they were endemic, native to that island and they had all the right amount of stingrays, and spikes and spines and so on and so forth. Yeah I can imagine scientists would really
want the information to be accurate. Yes! You’re a talented artist. How did you develop your art skills? Well, a lot of practice and I double majored in art studio and biology at UC Santa Barbara. Okay, so you have some formal training. Yes How do you promote your book? Uh well by hot air balloon Okay. That’s good. I think that’s a creative approach. Sprinkle my books over SLO County by hot air balloon. Good idea. Where can we find Mermaid Scientist? Mermaid Scientist dot com. Oh and at Amazon dot com. Very good! We’ll be sure to check it out.
Thank you Claudia. Thank you. That was news and views I hope you had a chance to notice the
vocabulary. Be sure practice some of the vocabulary in your future conversations. Now back to your regular program. Please be sure to support Claudia and visit her web page the Mermaid
Scientist. Now let’s take a look at doctor Lanham’s paramedic method. The first thing we
should do as writers is circle all the prepositions. Next, circle of the be verbs. Then he
suggests we find the real action and this means
have a good subject and a good verb in the sentence. Next, put the action into active verbs no passive voice. And finally get the sentence moving fast. No long
wind ups. Make sure you have a real good strong
subject of the sentence. Now let’s revisit doctor Lanham’s previous example. “There’s a good deal a
circumstantial evidence in support of the scheme.” Applying his paramedic method we come up
with “Much circumstantial evidence supports
the scheme.” Notice the significant improvements of the final sentence. There are no
prepositions. There are no be verbs. We have a strong
active and are clear subject. So when you embark on your next writing assignment, keep the paramedic
method in mind. Good luck and have fun writing. Well that concludes this video of English
instructor. I hope you thought it was interesting. Please be sure to watch another video
of English instructor. I’ll see you later. Bye

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