An Absolutist's Search for the Superior Style

2011 Words Jun 20th, 2018 9 Pages
An Absolutist's Search for the Superior Style

When I was debating in high school, I learned how to argue from many different perspectives and how to make a particular argument more effective than another. Although I'm no longer in debate (B.S.U. needs a debate team), I have been so affected by the activity I now believe if I listen intently and discerningly to the arguments for and against a particular position that I can determine which position is the most logical and prudent. It is this arrogant and fatuous tendency which I possess that is whispering in my ear right now. It is telling me to enter the universe of discourse and to use my sapient mind to find the "superior style." Not being one who ignores his impulses, I will obey. I
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Oh! Those words cut like a knife.

Although the notion of decorum dictates that some styles are not appropriate in particular rhetorical situations, it also implicitly suggests there are styles which are better than others. If one style is more appropriate for a certain social realm than another, then the more appropriate style is superior, because it more effectively communicates the author's intent. Since all styles are not created equal, the "superior style" then is the style which most effectively retains the reader's attention and coherently communicates the author's intent within any given social realm.

Alright, if I can't rule the entire universe of discourse, then I'll settle for a social realm in it. I want to be the king of academic discourse! Now, I've shown that the Official Style isn't an effective style for communicating with every audience, but I would contend that it is the "superior style" for an academic audience. An educated audience wouldn't be deterred by the frequent use of the "shun" words and the passive sentences, they'd probably be elated to read such a text! For example, every respectable and sagacious scholar would prefer:

"The order of print is linear, and is bound to logic by the imperatives of syntax. Syntax is the substructure of discourse, a mapping of the ways that the mind makes sense through language."


"One comprehends language through syntax, the substructure
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