Style pp 33-46 | Cite as

Words and grammar in prose texts I

  • Dennis Freeborn
Part of the Studies in English Language book series (SEL)


Jonathan Swift defines a style as ‘proper words in proper places’. Words alone do not make up language, or communicate to others, except in restricted texts consisting simply of lists. The ‘proper places’ for words implies that there is an ordering of words which we recognise as making sense. The rules which underlie correct and acceptable word order make up the grammar or syntax of the language. And just as different words have different meanings and connotations, so differences in the choices we make from the rules of the grammar affect the meaning and style of what we say.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Dennis Freeborn 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Freeborn

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations