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When analyzing a text’s use of shapes, it is important that you do not enumerate all types of shapes, but find those that are characteristic of the text and that are applied to central places in the text (where significant pointers occur).

General stylistics

The following concepts can be used as overall concepts for the style of a text.


High style: A term used for texts characterized by long sentences, long words, many foreign words, technical concepts and subject terms.

Low style: A term used for texts characterized by short sentences, small words, use of spoken language, jargon and curse words.

Speech Language: Use of words and phrases found in spoken language. These can be words like ‘very’, ‘he is really good’, ‘a super cool car’, ‘it is swag’ or spoken language synonyms such as ‘tan’ for skin color.

Word play: To play with words and their meaning, such as ‘For I am like bowling – you know I take cones’ (Malk De Koijn).

Paratactic sentence structure: The term covers a sentence structure where the sentences are side by side. Therefore, frequent conjunctions such as ‘and’ and ‘but’ are used between the sentences. Most often, a paratactic sentence structure is linked to low style and spoken language. Example of paratactic sentence structure: “A man comes running, and it’s Wednesday night, but it’s not very late at night, and now the man stands by his car.” The sentences are side by side.

Hypotactic sentence structure:

Concepts are used as a characteristic of texts that use subordinate sentences and thereby use conjunctions such as ‘because’, ‘at’, ‘there / as’, etc. Most often, the hypothetical sentence structure is associated with high style, and for texts that uses logos as an appeal form, trying to substantiate and find contexts. An example: “A man came running because he was going home from work that he had cared for carefully all his life, for work was his identity”. Here the sentences are subordinate to each other, so the last one is subordinate to the preceding, which is subordinate to the preceding, which is subordinate to the preceding. You can put the sentences up a flight of stairs.

Post Author: Windy Le

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