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02nd July 2012

Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing, by Peter Elbow (1957, English)

Peter Elbow (1957, English) is to publish Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing (OUP).

In the book Mr Elbow explores the virtues of speech and writing – exploring the paradoxical interplay between the strengths and weaknesses of each medium. Spontaneous careless spoken language may be too messy for careful writing, he argues, but it turns out to be full of virtues that we sorely need for good writing – even correct writing. Mr Elbow shows readers how to write well, not by using sentences that come out of our mouths during casual speech, but rather by calling on the virtues of spoken language. These virtues, he suggests, can be harvested by paying better attention to the wisdom of the tongue and the ear.

The book has already received considerable praise. To read a full review click here.

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