I have to admit, my definition of style has not changed dramatically over the semester. In my first post about style, I wrote the following:
“It seems that for me, style is an extension of the word voice when it comes to writing. It is a combination of many choices made by an author. From word choices, to sentence structure, to point of view- they all come together to become a writer’s style.”
I must admit, I think this still holds true. Style really is a combination of many seemingly minor choices that work together to make an author’s style.
However, over the semester, I have learned we can make our style better. For example, Williams suggested that putting the subject and verb together near the beginning of a sentence makes your writing style easier to read for others. I have been trying to keep this idea in mind when writing in all my classes now. It will take time, of course, but it’s nice to know I can make a big impact on my writing with a change like that. We can also improve our style by using words and phrases correctly. I was both fascinated and mildly annoyed by Strunk and White’s book about style because they devoted so much space to Misused Words and Phrases. But, I know when I see misused words, phrases, and other grammar errors in books, I am annoyed and it takes me out of the story. So, their advice was smart!
I learned some other lessons about style more inadvertently. For example, while reading Ong, I learned how style can make a work seem unreachable for the masses. His ideas were fascinating, but presented in a very intellectual way using difficult vocabulary. He could have changed his style and made the same impact using simpler words and his message would reach more people. However, he chose to use this style for some reason. Wesch, however, did the exact opposite. He presented his message in a colloquial way that could appeal to a much wider audience. I have no doubts that Wesch is an intelligent man; but, he did not present his arguments using technical jargon and in an over the top intellectual manner. His style is more approachable and inclusive to me and I like that.
Overall, I guess I have come to realize that style has a much bigger impact on how others receive our work than I would have thought. I knew that an author’s style impacts my enjoyment of the topic, but I did not think it was such a huge part of it. But, really, it is. Also, I’ve learned that I look forward to experimenting with technology in the classroom. After all, students need to be computer literate in order to function in today’s world. I can’t wait to see how technologies will impact my future lesson plans!