One way to analyze writing strategies is to look at the texts of successful speeches. Over the years, I even have X-rayed the Gettysburg Address, “I Have a Dream,” and the oratory of Barack and Michelle Obama. I note, for instance, that the former First Lady as soon as reminded her audience that “I stay in a residence that changed into built through slaves.” In describing the White House in this way, she located the emphatic phrase — “slaves” — at the stop, where it had its best effect. If a speechwriter had written for her: “Slaves constructed the residence I live in,” Michelle Obama could have been within her rights to hire every other.
Oral expression of language precedes the written word using, oh, a gazillion years. And let’s consider that the phrase “rhetoric,” which can observe in many kinds of expression, once emphasized the spoken word — the usage of public language by, say, Roman Senators, for the motive of persuasion. In fact, the technique of emphatic word order utilized by Michelle Obama — and Lincoln and MLK Jr. — is advocated by means of the Roman educator and rhetorician Quintilian extra than 2,000 years in the past, which brings us to sixteen-12 months-vintage Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist who these days delivered a short speech — approximately 500 phrases — to the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City.
I am in no position to decide her scientific evidence. I assume the truth-checkers were on her trail, with no principal corrections insight. Critics at the proper have argued she is a pawn of the left and could not have written any such speech. At least one has gone thus far as to disqualify her because she has Asperger’s Syndrome. Before we get to the speech itself, I would love to debunk the perception that no teen could have written this sort of textual content. It should be, the principle is going, the work of, dare I say it, AN ADULT. She is not anything greater than a ventriloquist’s dummy, speaking English in a foreign accessory. For the sake of argument, let’s said that someone else wrote the speech or helped her write it. If that is a disqualification, then every flesh presser who has mouthed the words of a smart speechwriter deserves to be un-tongued.
I actually have taught writers at all stages, together with simple, middle and high school college students. The paintings of the first-rate of these have been wonderful, worth of e-book. In Haslam’s Book Store here in St. Petersburg, Florida, I stumbled upon a used anthology called “The Best Teen Writing of 2015.” Inside I found the work of winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The paintings cover numerous not unusual genres. Here is a number of the fine nonfiction:
Catherine Gao, 16, San Jose, California:
“A week ago, I sat on a BART automobile in uncomfortable silence for forty-five minutes. Thirty other strangers sat around me, each diligently doing the exact equal factor: nothing. Half stared vacantly on the walls of the automobile, stopping each short time to look down at their telephones. The other 1/2 snored lightly with their faces smashed in opposition to the home windows. I closed my eyes and tried to disappear into my seat.”
Maya Lew, sixteen, New Haven, Connecticut:
“The tornado left everything broken but the toolshed. The townspeople plucked slugs off the side panels for days, later on, vintage timber peeling like rotten bananas. River water ripped beyond the edges of the movement; they fixed torn seams with dust and rocks (double knots, triple knots), pipes from damaged under sinks. The sunflowers floated, facedown, river trout half of way to belly-up.”
Jack Tien-Dana, sixteen, Bronx, New York:
“The subsequent day, the health facility transferred my mom to a New York clinic. My father rode along with her in the ambulance, at the same time as my aunt, a semi-well-known style editor and full-fledged diva, drove me domestic with my uncle and cousin. We were at the Westside Highway while she rear-ended a cab. She flew out of the automobile to excoriate the cabbie (note: she rear-ended him) and, for the duration of a lull inside the resulting fracas, she stuck her head in my window and hissed at a cheese-dusted me. I become holding a complete canister of cheese puffs, which jounced in the air and landed all over me.
Don’t tell your mother this passed off.’” I actually have chosen 3 youngster writers who had been 16 years vintage, the identical age as Greta Thunberg. I don’t know their backstory. However, I bet that they have had adults in their lives who endorsed them, from an early age, to perform the three essential behaviors that mark a literate individual: to examine critically, write purposefully, and communicate approximately how meaning is created via reading and writing. Greta Thunberg truly has the same items, magnified by her capacity as a young person to speak to large businesses of adults when the stakes are excessive. Let’s stipulate that a speech at the United Nations is a step up from nailing that college admissions essay.
So allow’s see how she did, and what she did. (My commentary seems in parenthesis.)
Transcript: Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, addressed the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday.
My message is that we’ll be looking at you.
(In syntax, we talk approximately the “variety” and “person” of pronouns. Each designation contributes to the voice of the speaker. In eight words, we get three of them. “My” indicates first individual singular, showing that the writer seizes ownership of these thoughts. “We” is first-man or woman plural, used collectively as in the language of hard work union messages, however also “We the humans.” She isn’t always on my own. Her remaining word is the second-person plural “you.” In most instances, this creates the illusion of discourse, the “I” and the “Thou.” But as the object of the verb “looking,” it feels extra ominous here. It’s no longer Big Brother who is looking. But Little Sister.) This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I have to be lower back in college on the opposite aspect of the sea. Yet you all come to us younger human beings for desire. How dare you!
(Short sentences have the sensation of gospel truth. Here we get a chain of them. She will now not allow her target market off the hook with an extended flowing sentence. Each length is like a hammer pounded at the podium. The target audience can’t see the exclamation mark on the quit of this paragraph, but they can hear it. I discovered “How dare you!” uncomfortable to read and hear. I diagnosed, guiltily, with the failed grownups in the audience. Her language is that of an angry determine or a stern faculty instructor scolding an infant. That inversion of expectation defines her voice.)