KINDS OF STYLE





Style has been classified in different ways, but it admits of so many

designations that it is very hard to enumerate a table. In fact there are

as many styles as there are writers, for no two authors write exactly

after the same form. However, we may classify the styles of the various

authors in broad divisions as (1) dry, (2) plain, (3) neat, (4) elegant,

(5) florid, (6) bombastic.



The dry style excludes all ornament and makes no effort to appeal to

any sense of beauty. Its object is simply to express the thoughts in a

correct manner. This style is exemplified by Berkeley.



The plain style does not seek ornamentation either, but aims to make

clear and concise statements without any elaboration or embellishment.

Locke and Whately illustrate the plain style.



The neat style only aspires after ornament sparingly. Its object is to

have correct figures, pure diction and clear and harmonious sentences.

Goldsmith and Gray are the acknowledged leaders in this kind of style.



The elegant style uses every ornament that can beautify and avoids

every excess which would degrade. Macaulay and Addison have been

enthroned as the kings of this style. To them all writers bend the knee

in homage.



The florid style goes to excess in superfluous and superficial

ornamentation and strains after a highly colored imagery. The poems of

Ossian typify this style.



The bombastic is characterized by such an excess of words, figures and

ornaments as to be ridiculous and disgusting. It is like a circus clown

dressed up in gold tinsel Dickens gives a fine example of it in Sergeant

Buzfuz' speech in the "Pickwick Papers." Among other varieties of style

may be mentioned the colloquial, the laconic, the concise, the diffuse,

the abrupt the flowing, the quaint, the epigrammatic, the flowery, the

feeble, the nervous, the vehement, and the affected. The manner of these

is sufficiently indicated by the adjective used to describe them.



In fact style is as various as character and expresses the individuality

of the writer, or in other words, as the French writer Buffon very aptly

remarks, "the style is the man himself."





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