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

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