Gopen’s Reader Expectation Approach to the English Language (Paperback)

$11.04

For as long as writing has been taught, the subject has always been approached from the perspective of polite society. The central questions were all writer-based: What can, must, ought the writer to do? What cannot, must not, ought not the writer to do? Mistakes were corrected; awkwardness was chastised; bloat was deflated. We were urged to avoid (the passive) and contain (the number of words in a sentence). But far less often were we told how to go about building a sentence, and almost never were we told why all this advice was supposed to work. The whole perspective was wrong: Instead of looking at the writer, we should have been looking at the far more important person where writing is concerned—the reader.

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Description

For as long as writing has been taught, the subject has always been approached from the perspective of polite society. The central questions were all writer-based: What can, must, ought the writer to do? What cannot, must not, ought not the writer to do? Mistakes were corrected; awkwardness was chastised; bloat was deflated. We were urged to avoid (the passive) and contain (the number of words in a sentence). But far less often were we told how to go about building a sentence, and almost never were we told why all this advice was supposed to work. The whole perspective was wrong: Instead of looking at the writer, we should have been looking at the far more important person where writing is concerned—the reader.