Summary Of Say It Ain T So By Stanley Fish

1862 Words 8 Pages
Writing is a very complex form of communication, grammar and punctuation can convert a message and determine the meaning of a sentence, much like intonation in speech. But does that necessarily mean that grammar ultimately defines the overall meaning of a text? In this article Stanley Fish the author of “Say it ain't so”states that the ultimate purpose of writing is to communicate or persuade an audience. Additionally, Fish also firmly believes that language in not mainly about self expression and that the belief in self-expression hinders us from progressing grammatically. In relation to this, Fish claims that rather than self-expression, a lack of proper grammar impedes our ability to fully show and explain our ideas. Overall Fish successfully …show more content…
In order to successfully write, we must state a clear idea, further elaborate and support our claim through the use of evidence and addressing counter arguments, as if we are in a conversation. Fish believes that writing consists of communicating our ideas and notions for several reasons, such as persuasion, informing, invoke feelings, or entertain an audience. Moreover, the main purpose of writing is to enable readers to digest knowledge and connect ideas in order to progress society. As Fish explicitly states that “ The organisation of the world in ways that expand the possibilities for thought and action- that not self expression, is the purpose of writing and its is preeminently a social purpose”(3). This shows that writing aids in the expansion of knowledge society holds. Further more, writing is a permanent form of discourse, unlike speech, therefore is eternally accessible for all to learn from. Fish makes a fair notion which is that writing is the penultimate way of communicating writing enables us to voice our opinions in a more permanent format for others to contribute to, argue against and for future generations to see how we build on other ideas or provide a new perspective on an opinion. Likewise, Stuart Greene, the author of “Arguments as a conversation” believes argument in the form of written …show more content…
He asserts that in order for students to show their ideas, the most important aspect is to structure their grammar and rhetoric, instead of content and valid evidence. Furthermore he believes that students lack the ability of using proper grammar and instead focus on self expression of their ideas. The evidence that he bases this claim on is his own statement in which he states “The second reason so many of our students are incapable of writing intelligible sentences or linking one bad sentence to another is something that approximates an argument. They have been allowed to believe that their opinions – formed by nothing, supported by even less- are interesting”. The evidence used is not as convincing, because firstly this statement is unjustified and lacks any scholarly evidence, cited sources and merely draws from his own observations and notions. Furthermore, Fish makes a ‘hasty generalisation’ through the idea that a majority of students are incapable of writing and that their opinions are irrelevant due to the fact that their ideas are just self-expression. Secondly throughout the passage, Fish does not address any counter arguments that may arise, such as Pinkers argument that “The rules conform neither to logic nor tradition,

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