The Sense of Style

  • by Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 12 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the 21st 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

author references charts, etc. in audiobook

Audiobook starts out by saying that the author-referenced charts, etc. are contained in PDF form accessible upon purchase of audiobook.


I will modify this review AFTer I have and listen to it in its entirety.
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- W Perry Hall ""There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays"

A great book, done a great injustice by the audio

What made the experience of listening to The Sense of Style the most enjoyable?

Steven Pinker's wit and explanations, as usual, are astounding. His expansive knowledge and explanations for how to have a sense of style are very helpful, no matter what your profession might be. Even if you "never" write, the book is still an eye opener and even a motivation to pick up writing, whether it be blog posts, letters, articles or books.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Arthur Morey?

Anybody, really

Any additional comments?

The biggest mistake in the book is how it's read. I am sorry if I am doing Mr. Morey an injustice here, but his reading was absolutely horrifying. Ironically, he reads a book about how to write (and which several times mocks things like officialese and legalese), exactly as if he were reading a legal document.

The book is read in a flat monotone that makes it seem as if Arthur Morey was absolutely bored to death. But this is not a book to be bored about, and certainly doesn't deserve this treatment. I will have to re-read the book on my own, simply because I fell asleep far too often during the reading.

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- M. Kunze "M.Kunze"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-30-2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio