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The Power of Words: Unveiling the Speaker and Writer's Hidden Craft / Edition 1

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2004 Hardback NEAR FINE Hardback, 272pp., This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. *****PLEASE NOTE: ... This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Mahwah, NJ, U.S.A. 2004 Hardcover New 0805847839. 246 pages--Interior text is clean, tight, and unmarked. Pages are intact and tight to the spine. One small scratch to front ... board; one small scratch to back board; lower outer corners of front and back boards slightly bumped; else a pristine copy. From the description on the back cover: " This book reports a multi-year research project designed to unveil the systematic knowledge by which we create experience for audiences through linear streams of words. The product of this research is a rich catalog of the English language classified around various families and subfamilies of words and word strings, and their distinctive effects in priming audiences. The catalog, the details of its organization, and the interactions across categories together constitute what the authors call a theory of rhetorical priming. This book motivates the need for such a theory, presents the research behind its development, the theory itself, and finally, applications of the theory Read more Show Less

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Overview

In 1888, Mark Twain reflected on the writer's special feel for words to his correspondent, George Bainton, noting that "the difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter." We recognize differences between a politician who is "willful" and one who is "willing" even though the difference does not cross word-stems or parts of speech. We recognize that being "held up" evokes different experiences depending upon whether its direct object is a meeting, a bank, or an example. Although we can notice hundreds of examples in the language where small differences in wording produce large reader effects, the authors of The Power of Words argue that these examples are random glimpses of a hidden systematic knowledge that governs how we, as writers or speakers, learn to shape experience for other human beings.

Over the past several years, David Kaufer and his colleagues have developed a software program for analyzing writing called DocuScope. This book illustrates the concepts and rhetorical theory behind the software analysis, examining patterns in writing and showing writers how their writing works in different categories to accomplish varying objectives. Reflecting the range and variety of audience experience that contiguous words of surface English can prime, the authors present a theory of language as an instrument of rhetorically priming audiences and a catalog of English strings to implement the theory. The project creates a comprehensive map of the speaker and writer's implicit knowledge about predisposing audience experience at the point of utterance.

The book begins with an explanation of why studying language from the standpoint of priming—not just meaning—is vital to non-question begging theories of close reading and to language education in general. The remaining chapters in Part I detail the steps taken to prepare a catalog study of English strings for their properties as priming instruments. Part II describes in detail the catalog of priming categories, including enough examples to help readers see how individual words and strings of English fit into the catalog. The final part describes how the authors have applied the catalog of English strings as priming tools to conduct textual research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805847833
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: T. Oakley, Foreword. Preface. Introduction: Words and Their Potency for Priming Audiences. Part I:Preliminaries. Priming Audience and Practices of Literacy. Cataloging English Strings for Their Priming Potencies: A Report of a Research Study. Methods for Selecting and Catloging Strings. The Catalog Hierarchy. The Hierarchy in Relation to Previous Scholarship. Part II:Results: The Catalog in Depth. Cluster 1: Internal Perspectives. Cluster 2: Relational Perspectives, Part I. Cluster 2: Relational Perspectives, Part II. Cluster 3: External Perspectives. Part III:Implications and Applications of Rhetorical Priming Theory. Using Priming Strings to Analyze Corpora of Texts.

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