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

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Persons Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Audiobook, by Steven Pinker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
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 knowhow, 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • This book is a graceful and clear smackdown to the notion that English is going to the proverbial dogs. Pinker has written the Strunk & White for a new century while continuing to discourage baseless notions such as that the old slogan should have been ‘Winston tastes good AS a cigarette should.’ John McWhorter, author of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue and The Power of Babel
  • Great stuff! Only Steven Pinker could have written this marvelous book, and thank heaven he has. ‘Good writing can flip the way the world is perceived,’ he writes, and The Sense of Style will flip the way you think about good writing. Pinker’s curiosity and delight illuminate every page, and when he says style can make the world a better place, we believe him.  Patricia T. O’Conner, author of Woe Is I and, with Stewart Kellerman, Origins of the Specious
  • A supremely important book...a masterly achievement. The New York Times Book Review
  • Masterly. The Wall Street Journal
  • One of the most important books I've read--not just this year, but ever. Bill Gates
  • Packed with information...Clear, witty, attractively written. The New York Review of Books
  • A display of fiercely intricate intelligence. The Times (London)
  • Engaging and provocative . . . It's good to have a mind as lively and limpid as his bringing the ideas of cognitive science to the public. Douglas Hofstadter, Los Angeles Times
  • Curious, inventive, fearless, naughty. The New York Times
  • Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read . . . also highly persuasive. Time
  • Ought to be read by anybody who . . . thinks they already know where they stand on the science wars. . . . It could change their minds. The Economist
  • Pinker is a star, and the world of science is lucky to have him. Richard Dawkins


    quotes
  • In this witty and practical book on the art of writing, Pinker applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the crafting of clear, elegant prose: #requiredreading. Publishers Weekly, PW pick Fall 2014 Announcements
  • Who better than a best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist to craft a style guide showing us how to use language more effectively? Library Journal
  • [A] dense, fascinating analysis of the many ways communication can be stymied by word choice, placement, stress, and the like. [Pinker’s] explanations run rich and deep, complemented by lists, cartoons, charts on diagramming sentences, and more. Booklist
  • [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. The New York Times
  • “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.”

    Time

  • 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. The Wall Street Journal
  • [W]hile 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. Time.com
  • Erudite and witty… With its wealth of helpful information and its accessible approach, The Sense of Style is a worthy addition to even the most overburdened shelf of style manuals. Shelf Awareness
  • 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)
  • 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…Pinker's vade mecum is a worthy addition to any writer’s library. Kirkus Reviews
  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • 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

Steven Pinker, a New York Times bestselling author,is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many awards for his research, teaching, and books. Hhe has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers.

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 two Audie Awards. 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.