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Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style Paperback – January 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Graphics Pr; first published feb 2006, is available immediately edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961392185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961392185
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Henricksen on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you care about language, and especially if you write, this is a book to have on hand. Virginia Tufte's project in Artful Sentences is not simply to explain the rules of English sentence structure, although the book is certainly useful in that regard. But Tufte seeks also to demonstrate what it is that turns syntax, in the hands of our greatest writers, into art. She shows how syntax can fuse with feeling and how, ultimately, it can become symbolic. This book will help the reader to appreciate verbal art, and it will help the writer to approach it.
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Format: Paperback
Artful Sentences: Syntax As Style by Virginia Tufte (Distinguished Emeritas Professor of English at the University of Southern California) is a remarkable collection of over one-thousand sentences demonstrating the utilization of syntax to create a distinctive writing style, and which were selectively compiled by Professor Tufte from the works of authors published in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Exemplifying the use of syntax to create a uniquely recognizable writing style, Artful Sentences features sentences showcasing every imaginable style as an writer, speechmaker, essayist, storyteller, and novelist, ranging from the example of Frank Lloyd Wright to David Gelernter. With a logical and definitive analysis of the actual root sentence structure, Artful Sentences is very strongly recommended for linguistics, literature, and English students, as well as aspiring authors seeking to distinguish their work in the highly competitive publishing marketplace.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot put this book down. It is beautifully bound and published. Virginia's insight into sentence structure and style expose the sheer beauty of the English language. She talks of participles, prepositions, nouns, verbs, phrases, all as if they are musical notes in the great symphony of the sentence, the orchestration of the paragraph. Her examples are exquisite and she dissects each, how it flows, how each part of the sentences has a particular effect, how the effects impact the reader.

Buy this book, read it again and again.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Eunice D. Howe on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've given this book to friends who have given it to theirs. It's a book that sits on my library table instead of my bookshelf. I like to pick it up, and flip through the pages until I settle on an appealing passage. To characterize Artful Sentences as a book on grammar, or as a book written expressly for the classroom, is to miss the point (although I would surely assign it to students in a writing class, for my own pleasure as much as for pedagogical reasons). Tufte's prose is spare and elegant, complementing the nuanced quotes that she has selected to reinforce her points. Altogether this is a stimulating, delightful and substantive book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By palmer on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was a discovery of the first order. I read the book through once. I saw immediately the value of it. I ripped the binding off, punched two holes, threaded rings through, and labeled section dividers to mark the chapters. This book -- along with my Gardiner, Strunk & White, Alderson, Truby, Baxter, Clark, and a few other essential tools -- sits on my desk, goes with me to cafes, and finds (a large) space in my briefcase when other books stay at home. Sentences are highlighted, my notes are in the margins, my questions marked with Post-its. It's an amazing, comprehensive work. The reader senses that each sample sentence was carefully chosen among many. I've memorized the author's "four action levels of the short sentence," her work in alternating transitive and intransitives verbs for specific purpose, her rare treatment of the varieties of the inverted sentence, and her important chapter on symbols. More laboring over each sentence type or phrase sub-type would have made a muddle. I appreciate the brevity, the clarity, and the exacting knowledge represented in this book. What a find!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin T. Keith on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a writerly book for lovers of language used well. It dissects sentence composition with amazing detail and insight, beginning with short declarative sentences and working up to longer and more complex forms. It is not a grammar reference; it is a study in masterly wordcraft, aimed at those who already understand the tools of language and wish to learn to employ them effectively.

Tufte classifies sentence types systematically, and demonstrates how each type contributes to the tone, rhythm, impact, and other aspects of the literary style of the written work. Every tiny variation is illustrated with well-chosen examples from works of quality. The collected content is an organized survey of sentence types and writing techniques, discussed and explained with expertise and sensitivity. She does not treat language as a grab-bag of specific tools, to be plugged into prose for particular effects; instead, she treats writing as a skillful art which can be approached deliberately and analyzed objectively, in ways that allow authors to achieve their own goals through purposeful application. The result is a painstaking study of the importance of sentence structure to the functioning of the sentence in the larger work - a technician's view of the workings of writing at the component level, written with an adept's finesse.

This book is a must for anyone who writes and is dedicated to their writing-craft, or for anyone who reads and aspires to a true appreciation of what writing is. It is a treasure of scholarship done brilliantly and with feeling.
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Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style
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