3.1039 the quality of writing, cont. (35)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Mon, 12 Feb 90 22:00:22 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1039. Monday, 12 Feb 1990.

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 90 00:59:11 EST
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <U47C2@WVNVM>
Subject: 3.1028 the quality of writing and thinking (170)

In his note on Halio's flawed study of the development of writing skills
of students using PC's versus the development of writing skills of
those using Mac's, Guy Pace says:
-It is likely that those more oriented toward print (termed
-print learners by some) would likely choose a PC over a MAC. Also, those
-print learners would have stronger language skills, generally. Pattern
-learners (those who learn mostly through patterns and symbols) would be
-more attracted, generally, to the MAC. Their weakness in language skills
-would be evidenced in a comparative examination.
I want to know what evidence exists for the notion that print learners
would have stronger language skills than pattern learners who would
evince weakness in languages skills. Language is not about alphabets or
syllabaries, or print recognition. It is about patterns and symbols.
Rhetoric is, indeed, the study and mastery of pattern in language,
usually for the purpose of either comprehending a writer's special
effectiveness or enhancing one's own effectiveness as a writer. Good
writing is based on a sophisticated sense of patterning. Semiotics is
the study of the complex techniques of symbolizing, without which human
language (at least, as we know it) would be impossible. The dichotomy,
as Pace expresses it, strikes me as absurd. Does it have a basis in
objective research or is it based, as Halio's article appears to be
based, on ignorance of the relation- ship between writing and language?