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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Layers of Significance

Effective Speech Presents Significant Ideas.
Basic Principles of Speech 4th Edition (Sarett/Sarett/Foster)

Effective Essays Present Significant Ideas.
(Initial principle modified to apply to the writing of brief essays.)

Significant defined:
  • Rich in significance or implication
  • Important in effect or meaning (WordWeb Pro)
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  • Having a meaning
  • Full of meaning
  • Important, worthy of consideration (Chambers Dictionary 13th Edition)
  • ======================
  • Sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy: a significant increase in sales. 
  • Having a particular meaning; indicative of something: in times of stress her dreams seemed to her especially significant. (New Oxford Dictionary)

“Worthy of consideration” and “indicative of something” are the two definitions I will apply to essay writing.  The easiest to address is the latter.  A child’s scribbling with crayons picturing their representation of a house surrounded by trees is “indicative of something.” Parents frequently think so highly of this art that they post them on refrigerator doors.  What I’m saying is that virtually all writing has value in the sense that it contains the fingerprints of the writer and indicates something about the milieu in which the writer lives.

“Worthy of consideration” likewise has broad application: fiction, nonfiction, comedy, tragedy, soap operas, and exquisite art all are “worthy of consideration” in context.  I am well aware that my blogs are not and will never be some people’s cup of tea.  Nevertheless, I write with care hoping that some will find the essays interesting, helpful, and (on good days) achieving excellence in sound and sense.  

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