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Download The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sense of Style: The Thinking Persons Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Audiobook, by Steven Pinker Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Pinker Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9780698179875
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A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker

Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care?

In The Sense of Style, the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the twenty-first century, Pinker doesn’t carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.

In this short, cheerful, and eminently practical book, Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination, empathy, coherence, grammatical know-how, and an ability to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others. He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence, allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously, rather than robotically, being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish.

Filled with examples of great and gruesome prose, Pinker shows us how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “While The Sense of Style is very much a practical guide to clear and compelling writing, it’s also far more…In the end, Pinker’s formula for good writing is pretty basic: write clearly, try to follow the rules most of the time—but only the when they make sense. It’s neither rocket science nor brain surgery. But the wit and insight and clarity he brings to that simple formula is what makes this book such a gem.”


  • “Finally, a writing guide for the new millenium, mindful of linguistic pitfalls in gender-neutral pronouns, chat rooms, and, perhaps most important, your OkCupid profile.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Pinker’s linguistical learning…is considerable. His knowledge of grammar is extensive and runs deep. He also takes a scarcely hidden delight in exploding tradition. He describes his own temperament as ‘both logical and rebellious.’ Few things give him more pleasure than popping the buttons off what he takes to be stuffed shirts.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “He writes like an angel.”

    Economist (London)

  • “Pinker’s scholarship is astounding…flawless…masterful.”

    Times (London)

  • “Who among us is more qualified to write a guide to writing cogently than someone who can make psycholinguistics intelligible and interesting? Stephen Pinker has earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations for doing just that. In this refreshingly unconventional writing primer, he offers real-world advice on crafting smooth, comprehensible prose. A calming, intelligent writing guide for people who worry about their writing. Editor’s recommendation.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “[The Sense of Style] is more contemporary and comprehensive than The Elements of Style, illustrated with comic strips and cartoons and lots of examples of comically bad writing. [Pinker’s] voice is calm, reasonable, benign, and you can easily see why he’s one of Harvard’s most popular lecturers.”

    New York Times

  • “Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker’s investigations.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Forget Strunk and White’s rules—cognitive science is a surer basis for clear and cogent writing, according to this iconoclastic guide from bestselling Harvard psycholinguist Pinker…Every writer can profit from—and every writer can enjoy—Pinker’s analysis of the ways in which skillfully chosen words engage the mind.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Yet another how-to book on writing? Indeed, but this is one of the best to come along in many years, a model of intelligent signposting and syntactical comportment…A worthy addition to any writer’s library.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Grammar texts may be the ultimate challenge for the audiobook, but Arthur Morey’s fine rendering of cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker’s guide to writing in the twenty-first century proves the exception…His prose is conversational and engaging, and Morey easily matches his tone and rhythms, so that one often forgets it’s a narrator one is hearing, and not the author himself—the ultimate test of a satisfactory audio experience for this reviewer. Whether heard one time for its general principles, or again and again as a learning tool, this accessible, keenly observed, and, in fact, witty and entertaining discourse on how we use our language will be an unexpected pleasure for many. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for October 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Barnes & Noble Editor’s Recommendation
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week in Fall 2014
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About the Author
Author Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is one of the world’s leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, Words and Rules, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, he is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for the New York Times, Time, the New Republic, and other magazines.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards, and his work has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed him as a finalist for the Audie Award. He has acted in a number of productions, both Off-Broadway in New York and Off-Loop in Chicago. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.