The Textual Orchestration of Patterns - Summary of Styles | English

Chapter Six

The Textual Orchestration of Patterns

The Textual Orchestration of Patterns - Summary of Styles:

In this unit, we will be conscious on the way stylistic choices are orchestrated, that means, how the different patterning work together to make a text distinctive stylistic ‘grain’. Richard Jeffries’ text contains two types of patterning:

  1. There is the frequency of be verbs.
  2. It is combined with the tendency for sentences not to have linking words i.e. and or when or therefore.

The effect of be pattern derives from the relative lack of other kinds of verb. The ‘be’ words tend to give their own meaning in sentences like ‘Eternity is now’. There are sixteen such free-standing be verbs.

List 6.1 Verbs other than free-standing be verbs

  1. cannot understand time
  2. the butterfly floats
  3. Nothing has to come
  4. I exist in it
  5. this tumulus was raised
  6. is mutually was agreed on
  7. The shadow goes
  8. The index moves
  9. The clock may make time

These verbs are of different types that don’t themselves from a pattern in consistency to the free-standing be verbs.

The ‘be’ verbs themselves are found as part of grammatical patterning. These verbs tend to be used with two broad kinds of meaning:

  1. Defining: what time, eternity, etc, ‘its’
  2. Locating: where something is in either place or time.

If we look locating pattern (b):

  1. It is eternity now
  2. I am in the midst of it
  3. It is about me in the sunshine

These phrases refer to what the writer wants to see as being immediately present to him. In (a) i.e. defining pattern:

  1. Now is eternity
  2. The years… are absolutely nothing

These defining be patterns also occupy a good deal of the text. They are all definitions and are all assertions. They contribute to a pattern of assertive definitions without the linking words like ’because’ or the expressions ‘I think’.

The assertive definitions also form another kind of patterning to the conventions. Conventionally the word eternity doesn’t mean now. Jeffries, in ‘Now is Eternity’, wants to locate and immediately present place. One way to look this kind of patterning is to see as a series of denials of conventional wisdom as to what ‘is’, what is ‘here’ and what is ‘now’. Jeffries wants to challenge the conventional assumptions.

Another kind of patterning is the repetition of words which are related in meaning to time, words such as eternity, clock, it and time. These ‘time words’ make the sense. The repetition of time words contributes to two kinds of pattern.

  1. One is to do with the content of the passage, the continuous mentioning idea of time.
  2. The other is the way in which repetition also serves to connect the text together.

Jeffries uses repetition only to do the link without sentence linking words, which would produce a less ‘stop-go’ kind of flow to the text? His assertions are like a list. He is at opposite extreme to the ‘and then… and then’ style. Ignoring the use of logical words such as therefore, because and on the other hand.

We have mentioned a number of different kinds of patterning:

  1. free-standing be verbs
  2. present tense
  3. be verbs followed by locative phrases
  4. be verbs followed by definitions
  5. unconventional word-meanings/assertions
  6. repetition of time words
  7. lack of sentence-connecting words

The idea of stylistic ‘orchestration’ is the idea that these patterns are reinforced each other. Everything comes back to the idea of ‘being’, of what ‘is’, to the idea of time, to the idea of what is present here and now, and all these definitions and locations are very unconventional associations of words in English. This orchestration of words and meanings in relation to the central concept being put forward is matched by the 'stop-go' sentences, without linking words to show how one follows from another and without argument or justification.

The different patterns interact to give the text its particular ‘grain’. The mystical and poetic texts tend to be assertive rather than logically argued. This orchestration can be seen simply as the ‘means to an end’, ‘how the language works’, and little more than the consequence of the author’s reason for writing. Not using ‘I believe’, ‘so it seems to me’, ’I feel’ may reflect a conflict somewhere ‘behind’ the text. And subjective speculations about time are less than certain truths.

Some writers comment it with skepticism because it may lack ‘where’ the meaning of the text lies. Let us look at different kind of text, the boxing commentary, in which we can find the differences in description, rhetorical purposes and genre.

  1. Verbs describing an unfinished try at something, such as aims to throw, flicking out, trying to land
  2. Verbs describing the successful achievement of something such as got Bruno backed up, thudded into

These are all action verbs as opposed to the categorized verbs in Jeffries. Action verbs make different grammatical demands from categorizing verbs. The action verb requires the speaker to say who the actor is and who the receiver is. If we pay attention on the aspects on the aspects of grammatical style we can find the connection between the content of the text and writer’s or speaker’s purpose of writing or speaking, which is called Content Structure

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