«

»

Feb 19

Practice with Style

Persona and Readers:

Read the following paragraph. First, discuss the suitability of the persona and style, assuming that the passage appears in a manual for volunteers assisting a probation officer. Then, discuss the suitability assuming the passage appears in a law textbook. How do context and readers influence your description of the style? What stylistic features make the passage appropriate or not for the two contexts?

Probation is a method of disposition of a sentence imposed on a person found guilty of a crime. It is a court-ordered sentence in lieu of incarceration. The offender remains in the community under the supervision of a probation officer for a predetermined period of time. If compliance with the terms and conditions of probation set by the court is made by the offender, he or she is discharged from the court’s jurisdiction, and the debt to society is considered paid. If compliance is not made, another method of sentence may be imposed which may include incarceration.

Determining the Author’s Meaning:

The following examples come from a government website, and they are an excellent exercise in reading between the lines.

  • A number of different approaches are being tried…
  • Extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach to the problem…
  • Close project coordination…
  • Major technological breakthrough…
  • Customer satisfaction is delivered assured…
  • Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive…
  • Test results were extremely gratifying…
  • The entire concept will have to be abandoned…
  • It is in the process…
  • We will look into it…
  • Please note and initial…
  • Give us the benefit of your thinking…
  • Give us your interpretation…
  • See or or let’s discuss…
  • All new…
  • Rugged…
  • Lightweight…
  • Years of development…