Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing Exercise: Be Specific

Oh. My. Gosh.

Check this out:

"In his Philosophy of Style, Herbert Spencer gives two sentences to illustrate how the vague and general can be turned into the vivid and particular:

"In proportion as the manners, customs, and amusements of a nation are cruel and barbarous, the regulations of its penal code will be severe.

"In proportion as men delight in battles, bullfights, and combats of gladiators, will they punish by hanging, burning, and the rack" (The Elements of Style, page 22).


Now write your vivid sentence! :-)

In proportion as women struggle in childbirth, equality, and faith, will they reward with devotion, strength, and eternity.

Okay... maybe mine is not specific enough in details. Try your hand at it and leave your sentence in the comments.


  1. Hmmm....

    In proportion that zealots burn books, so will judgements increase and wisdom fade to nothing.

    Not sure if that is what you wanted.


  2. Here I go:

    "In proportion as the numbers and letters flew by, growing ever more frequent, so too did the danger and sense of emergency in the room."

  3. Seriously - exercise for the brain. THANKS for the comments!! :)