GROWING UP DIGITAL

THE RISE OF THE NET GENERATION

Add this to the swelling pile of books on new media that pose many questions and leave all but a few unanswered. Tapscott's (The Digital Economy, not reviewed) problems begin with his formulation of the ``net generation'' of his subtitle—or ``N-Geners'' as he conveniently packages them—on so broad a canvas that the term is devalued: N-Gen may be as young as 2 or as old as 29. As a result, the theories that Tapscott draws from his study of the N-Gen's tastes and inclinations are as shaky and weak as a house built on sand. There may be, Tapscott suggests, as many as seven million young North Americans under the age of 18 spending time on the Internet. While that figure is impressive, and the impact on the country sure to be considerable, Tapscott seems to ignore the fact that many children and adults have no access to the Internet. In this brave new electronic world, the poor and disadvantaged seem to be largely invisible. Tapscott is well over two-thirds of his way into the book before directly addressing the question of how expensive technology is to be made available to the disadvantaged. And when he does, he has little to offer. He suggests, for instance, that the homeless may find shelter information at wired libraries, but he does not address how local libraries will afford the technology to connect to the Internet (let alone the unlikelihood of a homeless person entering or being welcome in the library). Crucial matters are slighted in favor of voluminous anecdotal evidence meant to chart the tastes of a generation growing up unafraid of technology. Too vaporous and unreflectingly enthusiastic to be of much use to anyone deeply interested in the questions of new tehcnology and American society. (illustrations, graphs, not seen) (First printing of 100,000; $100,000 ad/promo; TV satellite tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1997

ISBN: 0-07-063361-4

Page Count: 308

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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