Monday, November 24, 2014

Can Plain Style Be Too Plain?

Can Plain Style Be Too Plain?

            The language people use to communicate every day is considered Plain language. This style is easy to understand, strait forward, and uses common vocabulary. The media frequently uses this style to communicate clear and quickly. Instructional outlines and manuals are also typically in Plain language. But, sometimes instructions require some Official style in order to fully explain the concept; thus, there are some situations where Plain language is not enough.
            For example, take this “Sliding for Dummies” passage, in which a blogger on the Silverfish Longboarding website explains how to slide downhill on a longboard

           “Ok so every hour a new How to slide,or can I slide my set up? thread pops up,so before          you go and make another dumb thread read through this,also for the ones that know how to slide post your techniques,But remember this is SLIDING FOR DUMMIES so you need to explain with pics,drawings apples, bees or whatever”

This is exactly how the author typed his introduction up. This is definitely an example of Plain language, but did he go too far? I would argue yes. First of all, the grammar! There are multiple missing spaces between words; “pictures” is abbreviated to “pics;” and some unique punctuation is used. Plus, this is “Sliding for Dummies,” in which the reader has very little background in sliding on a longboard while going fast around turns. This needs a major breakdown of steps (with pictures)—however being “dumb” on the subject of sliding does not mean a person is unintelligent or illiterate. The speaker’s writing actually hinders some of the understanding of the subject because the reader sometimes is forced to figure out the poorly written language. There is definitely a difference between plain and poor use of language. However, this is incredibly easy to understand and is written as if this person is talking to the readers face to face.
            According to the reading ease calculator, the reading ease for “Sliding for Dummies” is 74.8. This is extremely easy and accessible for anyone in the general public to read and understand. The average grade level I was shocked to find out is actually 8.9! This is above the average reading level of the general public in America, which is the Seventh Grade. True, there is some jargon used later in the description—but it really is only the use of the word “trucks.” However, what the score of the reading level does not tell us is the level of humor and creative writing. This blog has a bunch of humor and creative writing in the form of exclamations points, all caps lock, as well as in the language itself. An example of this is, “you need to explain with pics,drawings apples, bees or whatever” (this also has horrendous comma mistakes). My favorite part of the entire post, and another example of creative style, incorporates language everyone uses on a frequent basis: “and most important,wear your god dam lid and pads!!!” This is great because it is incredibly Plain and incorporates language everyone uses on a frequent basis. Also, “god dam” would not be a term used in a formal piece of writing in the Official style (neither would the word “butt” used later in the post). The humor and variations in text and type causes the reader to be further engaged or annoyed in a way that Plain style and Official style might not grasp. This is a blog, that has an incredibly palpable sense of voice, which I love, but it may use too much exaggeration and poor sentence structure and not enough explanation and organization to teach how to slide on a longboard.
            Further dissecting the style, I noticed the format of these instructions was not consistent. The author is in half prose style and half list format while describing the process of sliding. He includes pictures as well. The pictures break up the writing, but it made sense to format it that way, like a caption. So, the first bit is like an introduction, which ends with three list points (the third of which is a continuation of the last sentence in the second list point), and then oddly transitions to many fragmented sentences mixed in with photos and captions. These photos and captions are complete with plenty of arrows and parentheses, further creating a choppy feel to the writing style. There is an incredible lack of structure and organization, and to add to the poorly written sentences. Once reading the passage, readers may understand a tad bit more of the mechanics of how to slide, but may not feel one-hundred percent ready to go to the biggest hill and nail sliding on the turns at full speed. It is highly unlikely anyone would make it to the bottom in one piece! As a longboarder, I do not feel any more comfortable going out and performing the task after reading these instructions. Though the language is incredibly easy, the style does not facilitate the reader in understanding the task being taught. One could end up with a broken collarbone as a result.

            Unfortunately, because of the lazy grammar and interesting format, I would say the use of the Official style would benefit the reader and promote credibility. The jargon terms such as “trucks,” “drop-down deck,” and specifics about the bearings or wheels and positioning would better explain the process, instead of making generalizations and not quite describing where to position feet in accordance to the board. The informality and type of language used contributes to the question if this is a reliable source. Especially considering the topic of sliding, where people can break bones, readers need to know that this is the correct way to slide down a hill on a long board. Furthermore, although the pictures are a helpful visual, the quality and setting of the pictures raise some questions. The pictures are taken inside a house that looks awfully run down. Why are the pictures not taken outside? This would mean that the author has actually gone sliding and knows what he is casually describing. The credibility is lacking and due to the gravity of the sphere of activity and context, the communication is not adequate. I feel there should be more Official language used, as well as better pictures in an improved setting. The pictures are great to help give a visual to the description though. This also adds even more to the creative aspects of the piece that is primarily written in sloppy Plain style.
            Plain language is great for most audiences and is easy to understand as well as quick to read. But when dealing with instructions and dangerous situations, some Official style should be used to indicate credibility. Also, it would promote the right audience too—people who have long boarded before and know what they are getting into, and want an analysis written with appropriate grammar. Thus, some jargon should be used for specific placement and materials used. Though there are pictures, humor, and diction people use every day, the syntax and format is horrendous and too Plain for my taste. This post on the Silverfish Longboarding website could definitely use a facelift in language—and some apples and bees.
-Alyssa B.

A Philosophically Fallacious Meme: The Problem with Philosoraptor

Philosoraptor, the well-known “meme” (image macro series) depicting a velociraptor contemplating philosophy’s deep questions, is an internet-pervading entity, distorting difficult philosophical problems into oversimplified bite-sized chunks of “wisdom.”  Although I must admit that, personally, I think a lot of the Philosoraptor quotes are pretty hilarious, for example: “if they squeeze olives to get olive oil, what do they squeeze to make baby oil;”1 however, there are others that demonstrate gross overgeneralizations, resulting in negative consequences.  The rhetorical devices that have seeped into our natural, plain speech are often misused/misinterpreted, and therefore have no proper place in conducting logical arguments.  I know many people would reject my claim on the grounds that the illustrations are meant to be light-hearted and funny, but these warped thoughts often lead to misconceptions concerning philosophical problems and are better examples of fallacies rather than legitimate statements.
Before the Philosoraptor gained significant popularity as a t-shirt design, it was initially a still frame of a Velociraptor from Jurassic Park with a copy of ‘Plato’s Complete Works’ in her2 hands.  The whole idea of Philosoraptor was originally a clever pun, without any philosophical prompts surrounding it.  According to, the modern-day Philosoraptor is:  
“A philosophical cousin of the Velociraptor…It’s commonly used as an image macro with a picture of the Philosoraptor’s head, one talon poised under its chin, as it ponders the deeper questions of the universe.  It is generally accompanied by a riddle, pronoun or philosophical issue, or a parody of one of these, that the Philosoraptor is currently mulling over.”3
Like most “memes,” or online fads in general, there is no telling exactly who took the Philosoraptor to this next level, but now it is one of the most popular “memes” on the web with over 38,000 “thoughts” on 12 different templates- an astounding amount of deep, Paleolithic thought.
The idea, or movement perhaps, of the Philosoraptor has obviously become viral, but is this a good thing?  Undoubtedly, the Philosoraptor is a positive addition to the interwebz in that she drives people into the mindset of inquiring into these philosophical concepts and encouraging them to challenge established conventions; however, they are not to be seen as legitimate claims.  As silly as it may seem for anyone to take philosophical advice from an extinct reptile, I have actually seen the Philosoraptor cited as if she were a genuine scholar from Oxford or some nonsense like that, and her thoughts used as an authentic premise/conclusion within a philosophical argument.  This is where the trouble lies:  people do not understand that if the Philosoraptor were truly an Oxford graduate and a fine intellectual, there would not be an obvious fallacy in most of her thoughts, and, ironically, applying her thoughts as something valid is a fallacy in and of itself (that of appealing to false authority/experts).
This brings to the forefront another root of this concern: that of authorship.  It is important for frequent interwebz wanderers to realize that the Philosoraptor is composed of the ideas of thousands of different people, many whom are unnamed, meaning that there is no one source or author, and no reasons are provided for the given conclusions.  The only knowledge Philosoraptor provides are disarrayed stepping-stones for a meandering curiosity, not blocks of an organized, sound philosophical thought.  This is because the people who comprise her are not the geniuses in the ivory-tower we tend to believe author such compelling thoughts, but, more likely, stoners with ‘mind-blowing’ revelations.  Considering Philosoraptor thoughts like “Do we see colors differently?  Is my green your red?  Is my blue your blue?”, it is hard to imagine them being produced anywhere outside of a hazy circle in a college kid’s basement.  To be sure, I am by no means discrediting all thoughts expressed through the Philosoraptor, for some are logical tautologies: “Even if I choose not to decide I have still made a choice;”4 however, most are distorted, oversimplified versions of the authentic ideas of truly great thinkers.  
To be sure, an informal fallacy is properly defined as an illogical conclusion due to false/invalid reasoning, following the general categories of those relating to irrelevance (use premises that are not logically relevant to conclusions, though they appear to be), those involving ambiguity (contain vague words or confuse closely related concepts), and those based off unwarranted assumptions (contain premises that, in the context, require further support).  It is important to note that many fallacies, within the scope of writing, outline various regularly-used rhetorical strategies such as analogy, synecdoche, and eponym; however, taken within the scope of philosophical argumentation, these devices can be respectively construed as the ‘Straw Man’ fallacy, that of composition/division, and ad hominum.  As much as I love using rhetorical devises to add pizzazz to my own writings, they have no proper place within argumentation.  Language used in logic needs to be as clear and straightforward as possible (which tends to be more mathematical than natural or plain), and the rhetorical tactics commonly used in natural speech intentionally alter the typical meanings of words and their construction within sentences, but more on that later.
As previously stated, the fallacy of oversimplification is quite common amongst the Philosoraptor’s thoughts.  For example, “if money is the root of all evil, why do they ask for it in church,” though an intriguing question at face-value, is an obvious instance of the fallacy of loaded questions (a derivative of the fallacy of oversimplification) in which the given question is based off assumptions that have not been properly justified.  The above question assumes a pre-established belief that money is, indeed, the root of all evil; that churches, indeed, petition for it; and that, perhaps most controversially and fundamentally, the Bible is, indeed, true as well.  Ergo, it becomes necessary for these implied assumptions to be logically accepted as true before the purported question can be properly answered, and, considering the prerequisites for the statement above, this is not a question that can be easily answered.
Such a fallacy can be avoided if the “harder” question hidden within the statement is instead asserted as part of the argument.  A reformulation of the previous claim using proper logic techniques would then go as such:  “‘Money is the root of all evil’ is true if and only if the Bible is true; if the Bible is true, then it is not right for Churches to ask for money; ergo, if money is the root of all evil, then it is not right for Churches to ask for money.”5  Unfortunately, such a transcription would not fit onto the typical Philosoraptor format, and, more importantly, would not be as groundbreaking (or as humorous in some cases) of an assertion.  
Consider the Philosoraptor’s use of analogy (in philosophy, ‘Straw Man’) in the following argument: “if guns don’t kill people, people do, then do toasters not toast toast, but toast toasts toast?”  Such a clever reptile you are, Philosoraptor, however this is a clear example of the ‘Straw Man’ fallacy, in that she is misrepresenting the opponent’s view for the purpose of refuting it.  Though there is obviously no logical connection between guns killing people and toast toasting toast, the way this argument is presented appeals to our natural tendency to desire things that are (seemingly) easily understood through association. In our conditioned plain language use, analogies are regularly used to reveal a common relationship to prove a point, yet we tend to unintentionally ignore the implied ways of how they are not similar.

Now, you may be thinking that I am mistakenly dissing creative language within argumentation, and, instead of dissing plain language in philosophical spheres of communication, am actually favoring it; however (and this is where my point comes in), many of these rhetorical devices have been used so regularly that what is properly deemed as creative has evolved, within natural speech, into what is felt to be plain and simple.  This unconscious conditioning results in such strategies being employed without an understanding of how that alters the statement uttered, and, consequently, how statements are perceived.  The miscommunications and misrepresentations the meme puts forth are then exacerbated by the Philosoraptor’s overwhelming popularity, and the flawed logic within the thoughts are broadcast to the globe, accessible to any and all.  Ergo, it becomes necessary for us, as a reasoning creature, to be able to identify the misleading rhetorical devices we use in our ordinary language and understand their effects within a given context, especially if the context strongly affects our perspective concerning our reality and our relation to the world.  In this way, though the Philosoraptor is a humorous lil’ bugger, she is not to be misconstrued as a fitting philosopher/logician, but rather as a curious starting point for idle chatter.    
-Danielle Watterson

1 Or "If Professor Charles Xavier can control things with his mind, why can't he control his legs?
2 Yes, I will be gendering the Philosoraptor as female for no reason other than the need for more females in philosophy.
4 To be sure, these are actually song lyrics from “Freewill” by Rush; which is a totally awesome song that you should all listen to.
5 In symbolic logic: “1) M ↔ B 

                                   2) B ➔ -C 
                                   C) M ➔ -C”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Example or Necessity?

For this critique, I have decided to examine the website for National Novel Writing Month, or The goal of the website is to attract writers of all walks of life and all levels of skill to their challenge. During the month of November, the aim of NaNoWriMo is for all participants to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Every writer works on their own, but log their word count per day on the website and interact with each as a source of motivation.
Now comes the important question: For something so laid back, is it necessary to present welcoming information in official style? The following is the mission statement from the website’s ‘About’ page:
National Novel Writing Month organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.”
This passage, when run through the readability scale, resulted in a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score of 30 and an average grade level of 16.0. The wording is not overly intricate, but it is laced with several lengthy words that could easily be replaced with simpler terminology. Examples include replacing “designed to foster self-expression” with something akin to “built to strengthen creative minds” or some such.
Additionally, the passage includes at least two prepositional phrases with “to achieve their creative potential” and “on local and global levels.”
Let’s examine another quote from the website. This piece comes from the ever-attractive Terms of Service:
“By accessing this website, you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty. In particular, you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, or otherwise make possible, dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree not to use this data to enable high-volume, automated, or robotic electronic processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose, including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes. Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written permission of the Office of Letters and Light.”
This passage rates with an average grade level of 16.7 and on the Flesch-Kincaid scale with a 25.4. According to the Wikipedia article on Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease, anything below a 30 is considered to be easily understood by college graduates. Additionally, the grade level suggests that this passage is intended for those higher than 16th grade, or a college graduate. Something like the terms of service is expected to have such a difficult reading level, but even from a website which only gains money through donations? What could gain from using such high-level jargon?
The only answer I can assume is that the staff charged with writing these terms is trying to appear professional by keeping a set of terms of service that someone might expect to see. Also, the website is built for writer’s, so it may be possible that the maintainers expect users are well-versed in lengthy words and their definitions.
In this example, there are also uses of appositive, prepositional phrases, and subordination sentences structures. There is an example of appositive in the second sentence, on the third line of text: “such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and solicitations of any kind.” This sentence is difficult to decipher, as there is another section of text between the noun and the appositive.
The subordination is also difficult, as it is the same segment as the appositive. This part of the sentence is dismissed by the use of ‘such as’ and surrounded by commas. It is an afterthought, unnecessary, but offers further and more in-depth description.
 Prepositional phrases are easy to point out, as any segment starting with ‘to’ or ‘of’ is one. For example, the very last line of the quoted text reads, “of the Office of Letters and Light.” And in the third sentence, we see another: “to collect or compile this data.”
We’ll take a look at one more segment of text. The final piece comes from an FAQ response for the website:
“You win NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words of your novel between November 1 and November 30. (Or during Camp NaNoWriMo, just reaching your personal word-count goal.) There’s no limit on how many people can win! Just be sure that you’ve defined a novel on our site, and that you validate your novel’s word count at the end of the month.”
This piece is considerably easier to read, ranking with Flesch-Kincaid at a score of 74.5—readable by most preteens—and an average grade level of 6.8. This example is much easier to understand than the other two shown in this assignment. As it is a critique, I felt it was important to show a side of the website that wasn’t so formal and difficult.
Although simple to read, this passage yet contains both coordination and prepositional phrases. The coordination appears throughout the final sentence, evident by the use of a comma followed by ‘and.’ Prepositional phrases likely do not need to be explained at this point, as they continue to be led by the use of ‘by,’ ‘of,’ ‘on,’ or ‘at.’
Now back to the original issue expressed in the title: does NaNoWriMo use official style because it is offering an example to aspiring authors, or because it is necessary for professionalism? My personal belief is that it is for professionalism as an organization. As an author who has attempted the challenge in years past, I have found that the staff often encourages creative and unique expression. Additionally, as I showed in the final example, there are uses of informal speech on the website, and often quite frequently.
After perusing the staff listing on their website, I feel it’s important to mention that the directors of NaNoWriMo are a varied sort of former English teachers and holders of Bachelors and Masters degrees. This is not an organization run by people without experience, as all of them are knowledgeable of creative writing to a fair extent.
I, personally, find their use of official style to be used in the right places at the right time, such as in the term of service. For the most part, the website is very relaxed and welcoming, perfect for aspiring authors who are coming to try their hand at a novel or for experienced writers who want a challenge.Rae Newby

NaNoWriMo: A Lens on Plain and Creative Styles

Rae Newby

In my previous critique, I examined the website for NaNoWriMo, looking at official style. This time, I am going to examine different samples of text in order to locate and break down the usage of plain language and creative style. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge for writers, both professional and those new to the art, to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel throughout the month of November. Because it’s a website for writers, one would expect to find mountains of creative style, right? Throughout this critique, I’ll examine a few select passages from the website and determine qualities that make them particularly plain or, in certain cases, creative.
The first one is from the website’s ‘regions’ page. The page is designed to find an area to align oneself with in order to receive news and find other writers nearby. The following is the description for the page:
“Think of your home region as your Hogwarts house. It will be easily found in the top menu, and your word count and donations will go toward its totals.”
A clear distinction of plain style is the use of ‘your’ to indicate that this passage is directed towards the reader, rather than using lengthy and detached terminology such as ‘participants,’ the website uses clear and simple wording to get the message across and make the reader feel as though they belong. The Hogwarts reference is an obvious nod to the Harry Potter series, using a popular culture icon as a creative simile to grant insight as to what a home region can do for a writer. 
When entered into the readability calculator, these two sentences resulted in a Flesch-Kincaid rating of 81.3 and an average grade level of 6.8. Both of these numbers indicate that a majority of seventh graders can easily read and comprehend the passage.
The next entry I’ll examine is from the NaNoWriMo ‘prep’ page. This page is to help writers find inspiration and drive to attempt the challenge. By offering a numbered list of tips and tricks, it is to help potential authors take steps to prepare prior to the start of November.
“Well, the big NaNo decision, that is… Are you a planner or a pantser?

Here’s the difference:

You [planner] believe in rigorous preparation.
You’ll spend the months before November carefully fleshing out characters, building worlds, and plotting your story.
On November 1, you’ll have an outline—or at least lots of helpful notes.

You [pantser] believe in hardcore spontaneity.
You’ll spend the months before November stocking up on inspiration and mayyybe a vague idea or two (if you’re ambitious).
On November 1, you’ll have a blank document and your imagination.

We think both are equally valid! It all depends on the type of writer you are.
And even if you’re a pantser, we recommend reading through the links below… You never know what might inspire you.”
This section is a bit more difficult to decipher, though it came out with a Flesch-Kincaid score of 68.6 and an average grade level of 7.4. Still, both of these scores indicate that it would be comprehensive to most seventh graders.
This section uses two columns to differentiate the qualities of ‘planners’ and ‘pantsers,’ those who plan far in advance and those who don’t. Again, the use of direct address is a sign of plain language, as well as the first-person use of ‘we,’ used to refer to the collective group of NaNoWriMo administrators.
In addition to plain style, this passage invites the use of creative style. The website doesn’t seem to give any etymology behind the word, but as far as I can guess, the term ‘pantser’ comes from the phrase “Flying by the seat of their pants.” The reason I focus on this word is because it is a perfect example of creative style. A made-up word that playfully invites those who may not feel qualified for their challenge is exactly what one might expect from a website built as a writing community.
Additional examples of creative style include the extra ‘Y’s in ‘mayyybe,’ offering a drawn out, playful, and almost doubtful description of a pantser. The use of ellipses offers a sense of lackadaisical pauses, which would not be used in official style.
Though there are a few longer words, such as ‘spontaneity’ and ‘rigorous,’ none of them are strictly jargon for the field and words anyone can understand. Other than these few words, the format is very plain and simple, with each column headed by helpful badges of an organized clipboard and a pair of pants to clearly state which column is for which person.
There is one last excerpt I wanted to examine. This one is from the ‘local volunteers’ page, discussing those who dedicate some of their spare time to help writers in their area with general questions related to the competition.
“NaNoWriMo is not an online-only event! We have local volunteers called Municipal Liaisons (MLs) all over the world. You can find your region here (it’s best to search by state or province) and click through to its regional forum. You will see your ML(s) at the top.
This one resulted in a slightly less difficult reading level when entered into the readability calculator. Having a Flesch-Kincaid score of 72.3 and an average grade level of 6.5, it is probably understood by most sixth graders, even.
The short sentences and use of first-person indicate plain style, while, like the previous example, there isn’t any use of field-specific jargon that makes it inaccessible. The only thing remotely close is the reference to ‘Municipal Liaisons,’ although the term is explained as the passage continues. The usage of parentheses to insert additional information is, like the ellipses mentioned earlier, a tactic used in plain style. Or, at the very least, outside of official style.
It is interesting to note how often the lines between plain style and creative style tend to blur in this situation. This combination made it an interesting subject to take apart and analyze, breaking it down and discovering even the smallest elements that make a passage of text readable.
My objective in analyzing the NaNoWriMo website for both of these critiques was to show that both sides of plain and official existed in the same place, as well as examine something I find interesting. I plan to participate in the challenge, so it was fun to look a little closely at the text written to support it and keep it running.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Travel in the Plain Style

          In order to increase my personal understanding of how Plain Style writing is used to attract people to specific destinations, I closely monitored differing marketing strategies aimed at garnering tourism. Because marketing is the foundation of travel, it is important to examine how various writing strategies are used to effectively increase the number of people that go to a specific place. Simple but elegant writing is necessary to attract different cohorts of people to a location or destination; therefore different writing techniques are used to fulfill the creator’s intention. Common literary devices found in literature within the sphere of travel will be analyzed and discussed to determine their effectiveness at captivating the audience and increasing people’s desire to travel. My critique of plain style writing emphasizes the potential variances in writing styles that exist within the sphere of travel and examines how different writing techniques function.
            The use of the plain style is obvious when examining literature from the sphere of travel, often portraying significant cultural aspects that highlight important aspects of a region. This is apparent in the BBC article about the annual “Beef-A-Rama” festival held in Minocqua, Wisconsin. A portion of the article states, “Once judges conclude their official tasting, the proud participants walk what remains of their beef dish down Oneida Street led by the University of Wisconsin marching band. Mini-floats often accompany the roasts, and many marchers stay true to the festival’s theme by dressing in cow costumes. Like lambs to the slaughter, all the roasts end up at the slicer, feeding the more than 10,000 people in attendance with approximately 2,700 sandwiches until the winners are declared in the afternoon”. This article serves to highlight a long-lasting Midwestern tradition by subtly incorporating various literary strategies to attract and engage the reader. An important part of plain writing is that the reading level is not very high, because the information is presented in an accessible and easily understood way. The reading level for the aforementioned text was written at a 13.1 grade level, which suggests that the piece was written in a specific and concise manner while maintaining a sense of professional identity. The plain style does not always guarantee that the existing literature within the sphere is written at a lower grade level, as the term “plain” merely suggests a more direct approach at providing explanation. Therefore, the content can still remain complex while falling within the category of plain style, even if it may appear to be more official in nature because of the overall complexity surrounding the topic.
            This article is very important to discuss in greater detail because how it attempts to offer a new and refreshed perspective about a traditional event that many people are completely unaware of. Therefore, the plain style is appropriate for communicating because many people are not a part of the “Beef-A-Rama” sphere of activity, and do not possess any prior experience or knowledge about the event. The plain style serves to deliver information in a concise and concrete manner that does not overstate information and likely confuse the reader. The article serves a specific purpose, which is to inform and enlighten the reader about the cultural event. If the article were written in the official style it would contain extensive jargon, and would likely tie extensively to the sphere of agriculture and meat processing. The information contained in the article would be more complex and become inaccessible to most readers. Therefore, the article is essential for increasing public awareness about the event and serves to make the sphere of travel more accessible to the general public. The article serves to present a new and interesting idea to the greatest array of people possible, therefore plain writing techniques are used to fulfill this goal.
            Travel falls under the same umbrella of ideology when approached from a global perspective as well, as traveling is a globally encompassing sphere that people engage in everyday. Therefore, it is important for the sphere to remain open and simple, as any amount of complexity or elaboration will draw a specific cohort of people away. The following article entitled “America’s Favorite Towns” attempt to unpack the regional and cultural distinctions that draw tourists to different places throughout the United States. The article published by Travel and Leisure states, “Readers rated Breckenridge a top ski destination, but year round they also found it highly walkable-or, really, hikable. One great outing is the three-mile round-trip along the Spruce Creek Trail to Upper Mohawk Lake, with views of Continental Falls as it cascades down a rocky face. Afterward, treat yourself to one of the town’s highly ranked craft beers, such as the Avalanche Ale at Breckenridge Brewery or a Belgian wit – with coriander and orange notes – from newcomer Broken Compass Brewing Company. Perhaps thanks to its high density of ski bums, Breckenridge also scored well for its vivid people watching”. This article is important to discuss because it incorporates a few important writing techniques to convey a message of importance and attract tourists to the aforementioned locations. The author uses precise and clear language to capture the attention of the reader, which can be seen when reviewing the portion of the article that discusses the available beers. This is a very important aspect for the author to discuss, because alcohol is an engrained aspect of American culture and will undoubtedly serve to attract people to the location. The author was able to understand that cultural appeal is a necessary tool to attract tourists to the location; therefore the appeal of alcohol is used to potentially bring more people to the region. It is also very important to note that the author does not incorporate advanced or stylistic writing techniques into the article, because the intention and purpose of the writing is to appeal to the widest array of potential readers. This means that people that are unfamiliar with the area and culture should be able to understand the information discussed about Colorado, which necessitates that the writing is simplistic and readily accessible. Even though the writing is simple in composition, it is very important for it to remain unrefined because the sphere of travel does not often incorporate specific jargon or regional terms because people that are not previously familiar with a region or culture will not be able to grasp or understand the concepts. In order to make the reading readily accessible to the widest array of people, the author has to make sure that the writing does not begin to incorporate broad themes or over-arching ideas into the text, as they will not be understood by people that are unfamiliar with the area, which will decrease the likelihood of travel to the area.
            Although the use of the official style in writing offers an opportunity to develop intellectual ideas and themes, this is not conducive for attracting people to a specific location. The sphere of travel uses a more simple writing approach known as the plain style to present information in an uncomplicated and simple format, which enables the text to remain accessible to a wide array of people. I believe that traveling will remain a part of the plain style of writing forever because of the existing differences between language and cultural identity. As the ultimate goal of literature surrounding travel is to attract people to different locations, it is important to note that people come from many different cultural backgrounds, with unique ideas about societal function. It is the responsibility of the authors’ within the sphere of travel to create texts and compositions that can be understood by a wide array of people, in order to ensure that travel occurs to the greatest possible extent. Therefore, the plain style functions for the sphere of travel because written information is delivered in a simple way that is readily understood by the widest variance of people.
            -Jacob Akin