หลักการและเทคนิคการเขียนบทความ เรียงความภาษาอังกฤษ

By | December 24, 2014

ประโยค (sentence) คือกลุ่มคำ (a group of words) ซึ่งนำมาประกอบเข้าด้วยกัน เพื่อบอกความเป็นไปของสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง (a single statement)

ตอนความ (paragraph) คือกลุ่มของประโยค (a group of sentences) ซึ่งนำมาประกอบเข้าด้วยกัน เพื่อบอกใจความอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง (a single idea)

เรียงความ (composition) คือกลุ่มของตอนความ (a group of paragraphs) ซึ่งนำมาประกอบเข้าด้วยกัน เพื่อบอกจุดมุ่งหมายอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง (a single purpose)

ประโยคแต่ละประโยคแยกจากกันด้วยเครื่องหมาย period (.) หรือ question mark (?) หรือ exclamation mark (1)

ตอนความแต่ละตอนความแยกจากกันด้วยการย่อหน้า(ขึ้นบรรทัดใหม่)

เรียงความอาจมีลักษณะต่างๆ กันแล้วแต่ความมุ่งหมาย เช่นอาจเป็นเรื่องราว (story) เป็นบทความ (article) เป็นจดหมาย (letter) หรือจดหมายเหตุ (note) อย่างใดๆ ก็ได้ แต่ไม่ว่าจะเป็นเรียงความชนิดใด หรือใช้ในความประสงค์อย่างใด เรียงความก็ยังคงมีลักษณะที่สำคัญเหมือนกัน คือจะต้องมีจุดมุ่งหมายอันแน่นอน อย่างหนึ่งจุดมุ่งหมายนี้มักจะแสดงให้ปรากฏโดยการตั้งเป็น ชื่อ (title) ของเรียงความบทนั้นๆ

องค์ประกอบ (element) ของเรียงความ
จุดประสงค์ของเรียงความบทหนึ่งคือต้องการบอกเรื่องราวอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง

การบอกเรื่องราวอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง อาจทำได้โดยใช้ประโยคเพียงประโยคเดียว แต่เรื่องราวบางอย่างไม่สามารถบอกให้จบได้ด้วยประโยคเพียงประโยคเดียว จะต้องใช้ประโยคหลายประโยคส่งเสริมซึ่งกันและกัน ให้ได้เรื่องราวตามความประสงค์ ซึ่งเรียกว่าตอนความ (paragraph)

ในกรณีที่เรื่องราวมีความสลับซับซ้อนมากๆ จะต้องอธิบายกันหลายแง่แง่หลายมุม ผู้เขียนที่ดีจะช่วยให้ผู้อ่านเข้าใจได้โดยสะดวกและราบรื่น โดยแบ่งแง่นั้นหรือขั้นตอนต่างๆ ออกเป็นตอนความ (paragraph) เรื่องราวเรื่องหนึ่งๆ จึงอาจประกอบด้วยหลายตอนความ อาจเป็นสิบ เป็นร้อย หรือเป็นพันก็ได้ ทั้งนี้ขึ้นอยู่กับความสลับซับซ้อนของเรื่องราวนั้นๆ

Paragraph (ตอนความ)
เรียงความจะดีหรือไม่ดีจึงอยู่ที่ว่าผู้เขียนแยกขั้นตอนต่างๆ ได้เหมาะสมหรือไม่ และนำแต่ละขั้นตอนมาเขียนเป็นแต่ละตอนความได้ชัดเจนสละสลวยน่าอ่านเพียงใด

ตอนความแต่ละตอนความจะดีหรือไม่ดีย่อมขึ้นอยู่กับประโยคต่างๆ ที่นำมาประกอบกัน ถ้าประโยคแต่ละประโยคสละสลวย ถูกหลักภาษา ใช้ถ้อยคำสำนวนที่ไพเราะ ไม่ซ้ำซากวกวน น่าเบื่อหน่าย และมีความผสมกลมกลืน อ่านได้เข้าใจแจ่มแจ้งราบรื่น ก็จะทำให้ตอนความนั้น เป็นตอนความที่ดี

การเขียนตอนความแต่ละตอนความไม่ใช่สักแต่จะนำประโยคมาเขียนรวมๆ กันโดยปราศจากหลักเกณฑ์ มิฉะนั้นแล้วก็จะมีลักษณะเละเทะเช่นเดียวกับการเขียนประโยค ซึ่งสักแต่จะนำคำพูดมาประกอบกันโดยไม่คำนึงถึงไวยากรณ์และความไพเราะสละสลวยของภาษา

ตอนความที่ดี (good paragraphs)
จากที่กล่าวมาแล้วจะเห็นว่า ตอนควาทที่ดี ย่อมประกอบด้วยประโยคที่ดี และประโยคต่างๆ นั้น ผูกพันเกี่ยวเนื่องผสมกลมกลืนกันอย่างสละสลวย กล่าวอีกอย่างหนึ่ง ตอนความที่ดีจะต้องมีลักษณะ 3 ประการต่อไปนี้

1. มีเอกภาพ(unity)
2. มีความเชื่อมกระชับ (coherence)
3. มีพัฒนาการที่เหมาะสม (adequate development)

1. Unity (เอกภาพ)
คำ unity หมายถึงความเป็นอันหนึ่งอันเดียว (oneness) ตอนความแต่ละตอนความ จะมีเอกภาพเมื่อประโยคทุกประโยคต่างก็มุ่งไปสู่จุดหมายเดียวกัน ไม่มีประโยคใดกล่าวออกนอก ไปจากจุดหมายนั้น ซึ่งเรียกว่าเป็นใจความ (idea) ของตอนความนั้นๆ

ได้กล่าวมาแล้วว่า ตอนความหนึ่งๆ จะบอกใจความ (idea) อย่างใดอย่างหนึ่งใจความเดียวเท่านั้น (one and only one idea) ประโยคแต่ละประโยคในตอนความเดียวกันอาจบอกรายละเอียดต่างๆ กัน แต่ก็ เพียงเพื่อทำให้ใจควานนั้นๆ ชัดเจนขึ้น เท่านั้น

ใจความ (idea) เช่นว่านี้ มักจะปรากฏเป็นประโยคอยู่ประโยคหนึ่ง เรียกว่า ประโยคหัวข้อ หรือประโยคใจความ (topic sentence)

Topic Sentence
ประโยคใจความ (topic sentence) ส่วนใหญ่ (ประมาณ 80 %) จะอยู่เป็นประโยคแรกของตอนความ มีอยู่บ้างที่เป็นประโยคสุดท้าย หรือแทรกอยู่ภายในตอนความ

ประโยคใจความอาจไม่ปรากฏให้เห็นได้ เรียกว่า implied topic sentence โดยเฉพาะในกรณีที่เป็นการบรรยายเหตุการณ์ต่างๆ

ตัวอย่าง paragraph
1. Topic Sentence อยู่ต้น paragraph
(ประโยคใจความคือประโยคที่ขีดเส้นใต้)

Wars are very harmful. Thousands of soldiers are killed. Much property is destroyed. Many innocent women and children suffer. Wounded and discouraged fighting men return home to begin a new and uncertain life.

You are beautiful when you smile naturally. Did you know that ? Start a smile (right now !) with your eyes crinkling the wrinkles around them and bringing up the muscles of your cheeks. Isn’t it a pleasant feeling ? It makes others feel pleasant, too. Nobody can resist you when you smile like that.

You will enjoy being introduced to others if you know how to behave.  Look at the person who is doing the introducing until he says the name of the person to whom you are being introduce. Then look at the new person’s face, smile, and say, “How do you do?” Say his name. Give him a good firm handshake as you speak. If your introducer has given you a conversational clue, follow it up. With its help, you will find that you can start a conversation quite easily.

A university cafeteria should be able to provide meals at a lower cost than private restaurants. The students serve themselves and, when they have finished, take their dirty dishes back to a special table. In this way, the cost of employing staff is reduced because there is no need for waiters. The same number of students eat in the cafeteria each day. As a result, the manager can calculate the exact amount of food to buy and very little is wasted. Finally, a university cafeteria makes no profit. This reduces the cost of the meals by at least ten per cent.

2. Topic Sentence อยู่ท้าย paragraph

Except at rush hours-and this is partly the result of the city’s shape-you will probably have to wait what is for a metropolis a disgracefully long time-half an hour or more. Traffic is the excuse for delay. Actually, when your bus does come, it is ambling along with a tail of three or four others. They look like dinosaurs afraid to go singly. The first will be full of frantic people who have been gathering at every stop for the last half-hour. The trailers behind are nearly empty and their passengers are frantic because they have allowed twenty minutes for a ride which at this suddenly deliberate pace will take forty. The mind of man who can fashion a directed missile that will hit the enemy in the left eye but cannot make a schedule for New York buses.

Jacques Barzan, God’s Country and Mine

3. Topic Sentence แทรกอยู่ภายใน

Three high school students were seriously injured in football games last Saturday.  The week before two players were hospitalized. Football has become a dangerous game. It is dangerous because many players ignored the rules, because they were not well-trained, and, perhaps, they were told to play only to win, never to lose.

4. Topic Sentence Implied (ไม่ปรากฏประโยคใจความให้เห็น)

When a rocket is going to be launched into space, a “Count down” is heard. The men who fire it must be sure that it is ready for firing. They need many hours for this. They have to check the complicated machinery that sets it off and guides it. The instruments that send radio messages back and forth have to be tested. All of this work has to be done at the right time. To make sure that it does get done, an announcer keeps telling the men how many minutes are still left before the firing time.

ประโยคใจความ (topic sentence)

ของ paragraph ข้างบนนี้ อาจได้แก่  Why a count down is made.

The jet plane landed at 4:10 p.m. As the door opened, the crowd burst into a long, noisy demonstration. The people surged the police guard lines. Women were screaming. Teen-agers were yelling for autographs or sourvenirs. The visitor smiled and waved at his fans.

ประโยคใจความ (topic sentence) ของ paragraph ข้างบนนี้ อาจได้แก่ The enthusiastic reception of an entertainment idol.

2. Coherence (ความเชื่อมกระชับ)

ตอนความที่มี coherence ได้แก่ตอนความซึ่งประกอบด้วยประโยคซึ่งทุกประโยคถูกต้องตามหลักภาษา และเกี่ยวเนื่องกันตามหลักตรรกศาสตร์ (tied together by logic and grammatical structure)

ตรรกศาสตร์ (logic) ในที่นี้หมายถึงความมีเหตุมีผล ความมีลำดับก่อนหลัง ถูกต้องตามระบบที่ตั้งขึ้น (เช่นการอธิบายจากซ้ายไปขวา หรือจากหน้าไปหลัง หรือจากบนลงล่าง อย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง ไม่ปะปนสับสนกัน เช่น ซ้ายไปขวาบ้าง บนลงล่างบ้าง)

กล่าวอีกอย่างหนึ่งง paragraph ที่มี coherence ได้แก่ paragraph ซึ่งจัดเรียงลำดับประโยค ซึ่งผูกพันต่อเนื่องกันไปโดยที่ประโยคเหล่านั้นถูกต้องตามหลักไวยากรณ์และความนิยมของแต่ละภาษา

3. Adequate Development (พัฒนาการที่เหมาะสม)

การพัฒนา หรือการดำเนินการสรรค์สร้าง (development) ได้แก่การแต่งเติมเสริมต่อประโยคใจความให้สมบูรณ์และชัดเจน ซึ่งอาจทำได้ โดย
1. เพิ่มเติมรายละเอียด (details)
2. แสดงภาพประกอบและตัวอย่าง (illustrations and examples)
3. เปรียบเทียบข้อเหมือนและข้อแตกต่าง (comparisons and contrasts)
4. แสดงเหตุผล (reasons and results)

ตัวอย่าง แสดงการดำเนินการสรรค์สร้าง
1. Developing the paragraph by giving details (ให้รายละเอียด) (ประโยค topic sentence คือประโยคที่ขีดเส้นใต้)

The functions of the Senate (of the U.S.A.) fall into three classes: legislative, executive, and judicial. Its legislative function is to pass, along with the House of Representatives, bills which become Acts of Congress on the assent of the President, or even without his consent, if passed a second time by a two-thirds majority of each House, after he has returned them for reconsideration. Its executive function are (a) to approve or disapprove the President’s nominations of Federal officers, including judges, ministers of state, and ambassadors; (b) to approve, by a majority of two-thirds of those present, of treaties made by the President-i. e., if less than two-thirds approve, the treaty falls to the ground. Its judicial function is to sit as a court for the trial of impeachments preferred by the House of Representatives.

2. Developing the paragraph by giving examples (ยกตัวอย่างประกอบ)

Young animals are strikingly like children in their craving for amusement.   A young bear will lie on his back and play with his feet and toes by the hour, while a young puppy can have great game with only a dry bone or a piece of paper, or by chasing his shadow on the wall. Rabbits come out in the evenings on the sand hills to play hide-and-seek with their young, and squirrels never weary of this universal game. I know a young fox that used to come from an adjacent  woods every evening to play with a young fox terrier. They became great friends and were often seen in the woods together.

3. Developing the paragraph by comparing and contrasting (แสดงการเปรียบเทียบ)

ในตอนความหนึ่งๆ อาจแสดงการเปรียบเทียบข้อเหมือนและเปรียบเทียบข้อแตกต่างไว้ด้วยกันได้

It is curious to note how ant societies resemble and differ from those of man. Human societies may be divided into six classes of stages-the hunting, pastoral, agricultural, commercial, industry, and intellectual; and ants have stages corresponding to the first three. Some ants live solely by the products of the chase; they are known as the driver and legionary ants. Some keep domestic animals, in the shape of plant lice, small insects, and caterpillars; these belong to the pastoral class. The agricultural class is represented by the harvesting ants, which collect, store and, it is said, plant seeds. Against these resemblances may be set the fact that ant societies are almost solely composed of females, for the males take little part in the social life of the colony. Each female is predestined to a certain task, and an ant community may be likened to a big family. A very large family it is in some cases. It has been estimated that a community may consist of five hundred thousand ants. Such a community resembles a perfect republic, where each work for the good of the whole community, each having her appointed work, laboring constantly and each ready to sacrifice herself for the good of all.

4. Developing the paragraph by giving reasons and results (แสดงเหตุผล)

การกล่าวข้อความอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง อาจจำเป็นต้องมีเหตุผล (reason) สนับสนุนเพื่อให้ผู้อ่านเข้าใจได้ชัดเจนดียิ่งขึ้นว่า เหตุใดจึงกล่าวเช่นนั้น และบางครั้งก็อาจจำเป็นต้องบอกด้วยว่าเหตุการณ์เช่นนั้น ถ้าให้เกิดผล (result) อย่างใดบ้าง ซึ่งจะทำให้ paragraph สมบูรณ์ชัดเจนยิ่งขึ้น

Cats are gifted linguists. By mewing they can just as plainly express a disire to have a door opened or closed as if they requested it in so many words. A friend has furnished me an interesting account of her cat’s ability to make herself understood: It seems that the cat, with three small kittens, at one time slept in a box prepared for her in the kitchen. But one night when it was particularly cold, someone left the kitchen window open, and late in the night the cat went to her mistress’ bed and mewed continuously until her mistress arose and went to the kitchen and closed the window. The cat was perfectly satisfied, as she had made her great need understood.

Sentence Techniques (ศิลปะในการเขียนประโยค)
การเขียนเป็นศิลปะอย่างหนึ่ง คนทุกคนจึงเป็นนักเขียนที่ดีไม่ได้เหมือนกันทุกคน หลักการต่างๆ ในการเขียนเป็นเพียงคำแนะนำ ซึ่งสังเกตรวบรวมมาจากข้อเขียนของนักเขียนที่มีชื่อเสียงและเป็นที่ยอมรับกันทั่วไป

การเขียนหนังสือก็เช่นเดียวกับการวาดภาพซึ่งมีหลักการใหญ่ๆ เหมือนกันทั่วโลก จะแตกต่างกันก็เฉพาะความนิยมหรือธรรมเนียมซึ่งเป็นข้อปลีกย่อยเท่านั้น การเขียนประโยคจะแตกต่างกันก็เฉพาะภาษาและไวยากรณ์ของแต่ละภาษา แต่การนำประโยคมารวมกันเป็นตอนความ และการดำเนินการสรรค์สร้างตอนความ เป็นระบบที่เหมือนกันในทุกภาษา เรื่องที่แต่งได้ดีในภาษาหนึ่ง อาจถ่ายทอดเป็นเรื่องที่ดีในภาษาอื่นๆ ได้เสมอ จะขาดไปก็เพียงรสของภาซึ่งแทรกเป็นคำคม หรือมีความไพเราะตามเอกลักษณ์ของแต่ละภาเท่านั้น

ศิลปะ หรือวิธีการ หรือกลวิธี (technique) ในการเขียนประโยคที่รวบรวมมาจากผลงานของนักเขียน มีชื่อ พอสรุปได้เป็น 3 ข้อใหญ่ๆ คือ
1. ทุกประโยคมีน้ำหนัก (effective subordination)
2. มีการแปรเปลี่ยน (variety)
3. เข้ารูปเข้ารอยกัน (parallelism)

Effective Subordination (ความหนักแน่น)
ประโยคที่หนักแน่นได้แก่ประโยคที่เน้นความสำคัญได้ถูกจุด สั้นและกระฉับกระเฉง ไม่เป็นประโยคที่เรียกว่า น้ำท่วมทุ่งผักบุ้งโหรงเหรง คือมีรายละเอียดมากเกินไป (overload) จนแทบจับความไม่ได้ จงสังเกตจากตัวอย่างต่อไปนี้

วางความสำคัญผิดที่
Ineffective : He studied hard for his examination, making high grades.

Revised : Having studied hard for his examination, he made high grades.

Ineffective : He happened to glance at the sidewalk, noticing a large diamond at his feet.

Revised : Happening to glance at the sidewalk, he noticed a large diamond at his feet”

รายละเอียดเกินความจำเป็น

Ineffective : My fishing equipment includes a casting rod which Uncle Henry gave me many years ago and which is nearly worn out, and an assortment of lines, hooks, and bass flies, which make good bait when I can get time off from work to go bass fishing at Hardwood Lake.

Revised : My fishing equipment includes an old casting rod and an assortment of lines, hooks, and bass flies. The flies make good bait when I am bass fishing at Hardwood Lake.

Variety (ความแปรเปลี่ยน)
ผู้อ่านจะรู้สึกเบื่อหน่ายกับการซ้ำซากจำเจในลีลาของการเขียน เช่น ใช้ประโยคสั้นๆ ติดต่อกันไปหลายๆ ประโยค หรือใช้ประโยคยาวๆ ติดต่อกันไปหลายๆ ประโยค หรือใช้แบบสร้างประโยคคล้ายๆ กัน ติดต่อกันไปหลายๆ ประโยค เป็นต้น

วิธีหลีกเลี่ยงคือใช้ประโยคยาวบ้างสั้นบ้าง สลับกันไปในจังหวะที่เหมาะสม เช่นนานๆ ครั้งก็ใช้ประโยคคำถามบ้าง หรือใช้ประโยคที่เป็นคำๆ เดียวบ้าง หรือเปลี่ยนแบบสร้างประโยค ให้แตกต่างกัน เช่น ใช้ prepositional phrase บ้าง participial phrase บ้าง เปลี่ยนการใช้คำเชื่อมที่มีความหมายคล้ายๆ กันเป็นคำอื่นบ้างเป็นต้น

1. หลีกเลี่ยงการใช้ประโยคสั้นๆ มากเกินไป (choppy sentences)

ไม่ดี : Jack approached the horse. The horse saw the bridle in his hand. He stood still. The horse waited. Jack tried to toss the reins over the horse’s head. But it galloped away.

ดีขึ้น : Jack approached the horse, who saw the bridle in his hand. He stood still and the horse waited. But when he tried to toss the reins over its head, the horse galloped away.

2. หลีกเลี่ยงการใช้ประโยค compound หรือ complex ยาวๆ มากเกินไป

ไม่ดี : The stagecoach rounded a bend, but two masked horsemen blocked the road, and they covered the driver with their rifles, and then they ordered him to raise his hands.

ดีขึ้น : As the stagecoach rounded a bend, two masked horsemen blocked the road. Covering the driver with their rifles, they ordered him to raise his hands.

3. หลีกเลี่ยงการจำเจ (monotony)
ผู้เขียนที่ไม่ชำนาญมักจะมีนิสัยติดอยู่กับลักษณะประโยคอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง เช่น บางคนติดการเขียนประโยคยาวๆ บางคนติดเขียนนำหน้าประโยคด้วย principal clause เสมอ บางคนติดขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วยประธาน แล้วตามด้วยกริยาใน active voice

วิธีแก้คือพยายามเปลี่ยนแบบสร้างของประโยคอยู่เสมอ  เช่นใช้ active voice บ้าง passive voice บ้าง ขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วย prepositional phrase บ้าง verbal phrase บ้าง ขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วยคำเชื่อมบ้าง เอาคำเชื่อมไว้กลางประโยคบ้างเป็นต้น

สรุปวิธีแก้ไขได้ดังนี้

1. แปรเปลี่ยนวิธีขึ้นต้นประโยค (vary the beginning of the sentences)

ประโยคเดิม
The deer grazed peacefully in the valley and were unaware of the advancing hunter.

ขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วย Prepositional Phrase
In the valley the deer grazed peacefully and were unaware of the advancing hunter.

ขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วย Verbal Phrase
Grazing peacefully in the valley, the deer were unaware of the advancing hunter.

ขึ้นต้นประโยคด้วยคำเชื่อม
As they grazed peacefully in the valley, the deer were unaware of the advancing hunter.

วางคำเชื่อมไว้กลางประโยค
The hunter advanced towards the deer as they were grazing peacefully in the valley.

2. แปรเปลี่ยนคำเชื่อม (vary the connectives)
ไม่ควรใช้คำเชื่อมคำเดียวกันซ้ำซากบ่อยๆ ควรเลือกคำอื่นที่มีความหมายคล้ายๆ กันแทนบ้าง เช่น แทนที่จะใช้ and อาจเลือกใช้คำอื่นๆ เช่น as well as, not only … but also, moreover เป็นต้น

He is cold, tired, and hungry.
He is cold, tired, as well as hungry.
He is not only cold and tired but also hungry.
He is cold and tired; moreover, he is hungry.

3. แปรเปลี่ยนแบบของประโยค (vary the type of sentences)
ไม่ควรใช้ประโยคแบบเดียวกันซ้ำกันบ่อยๆ ควรใช้แบบอื่นบ้าง เช่น

He is never contented although he is rich.
Rich as he is, he is never contented.
However rich he is, he is never contented.
He is rich; however, he is never contented.
Despite his richness, he is never contented.

4. ใช้คำขัดจังหวะ (thrown-in words) ที่เหมาะสม
คำขัดจังหวะ (thrown-in word หรือ transitional word) ได้แก่คำที่แทรกเข้ามาเพื่อเรียกร้องอารมณ์จากผู้อ่าน การเลือกใช้คำเช่นนี้ได้เหมาะสมและในจังหวะที่ถูกต้องจะทำให้เป็น paragraph ที่น่าอ่าน

คำขัดจังหวะ ได้แก่คำทำนองต่อไปนี้

However                       In fact           As you may know
In addition                  Indeed           It is belived that
On the other hand    In short         To my belief

5. การใช้ประโยคขมวดท้าย (periodic sentence)
ประโยคขมวดท้ายได้แก่ประโยคซึ่งชะลอความสำคัญ หรือจุดสำคัญเอาไปไว้ในตอนท้าย ทำให้ผู้อ่านเกิดทึ่งหรือกระหายอยากจะทราบ  และจำเป็นต้องอ่านไปตลอดทั้งประโยคตั้งแต่ต้นจนจบ เพื่อที่จะจับความสำคัญอันนั้นให้ได้

ประโยคต่อไปนี้แสดงให้เห็นว่า ผู้เขียนได้ก่อให้เกิดความสนใจสงสัยในตอนต้นๆ ทำให้ผู้อ่านอ่านด้วยความกระตือรือร้น ไปจนจบประโยค

His eyes on my face, his left hand on the counter, he slowly drew his gun.

อย่างไรก็ตาม ประโยคขมวดท้ายเช่นนี้ ควรใช้นานๆ ครั้งเท่านั้น การใช้ประโยคชนิดนี้ติดต่อกันแม้เพียง 2-3 ประโยค จะทำให้เกิดความน่าเบื่อรำคาญขึ้นทันที

และควรสังเกตด้วยว่าข้อความบางอย่าง ให้ผลแก่ผู้อ่านเท่าๆ กัน ไม่ว่าจะใช้ประโยคขมวดท้าย (periodic) หรือประโยคธรรมดา (loose) ดังเช่นประโยคต่อไปนี้

Loose : Bill reached the Pacific after a long, hazardous journey.
Periodic : After a long, hazardous journey, Bill reached the Pacific.

Loose : He will be a good physician, if enthusiasm is a guarantee of success.
Periodic : If enthusiasm is a guarantee of success, he will be a good physician.

Parallelism (ความเข้ารูปเข้ารอยกัน)
ประโยคที่มีแนวคิดเป็นอย่างเดียวกัน ควรใช้แบบสร้างทางไวยากรณ์อย่างเดียวกัน ซึ่งเรียกว่าเป็นแบบสร้างที่ขนานกัน หรือเข้ารูปเข้ารอยกัน (parallel) เช่น

ไม่ดี : She likes to sew and cooking.
ไม่ดีเนื่องจากใช้ infinitive คู่กับ gerund

Parallel : She likes to sew and cook.
Parallel : She likes sewing and cooking.

Awkward : Sam is tall, with blue eyes, and has polite manners.
Parallel : Sam is tall, blue-eyed, and polite.
Parallel : Sam is a man with great height, blue eyes, and polite manners.

Faulty : You are either late or I am early.
ผิดเพราะว่าใช้คำคู่กับ clause

Parallel : Either you are late or I am early.
ขนานกันเนื่องจากใช้ clause กับ clause

Faulty : Jim not only has been outstanding in athletics, but also in his studies.
ผิดเพราะใช้ verb คู่กับ preposition

Parallel : Jim has been outstanding not only in athletics, but also in his studies.
ขนานกันเนื่องจากใช้ prepositional phrase ทั้งคู่

Composition (เรียงความ)
เรียงความเรื่องหนึ่งอาจประกอบด้วย paragraph เดียว หรือหลาย paragraph ก็ได้ เนื่องจาก แต่ละ paragraph ม topic sentence ดังนั้นวิธีเขียนเรียงความเรื่องใดๆ จึงควรทำโดยพยายามแยกเรื่องนั้น ออกเป็นหัวข้อย่อยๆ ให้แต่ละหัวข้อเป็น topic sentence ของแต่ละ paragraph หลังจากนั้นจึงขยายความ ของแต่ละ topic sentence ตามหลักและวิธีการที่กล่าวมาแล้วก็จะได้เรียงความตามต้องการ

วิธีดำเนินการเขียนเรียงความ ควรดำเนินการตามลำดับต่อไปนี้
ขั้นที่ 1 พิจารณาแบ่งเรื่องนั้นๆ ออกเป็นหัวข้อ (outline) คิดว่าควรจะกล่าวถึงอะไรก็เขียนลงไปเรื่อยๆ จนกว่าจะเห็นว่าหมดหัวข้อแล้ว

ขั้นที่ 2 พิจารณาหัวข้อที่เขียนได้ในขั้นที่ 1 ว่าหัวข้อใดควรรวมกัน หรือควรตัดออก แล้วจัดเรียงหัวข้อตามลำดับก่อน-หลัง (ตามความรู้สึกที่เห็นว่าควรจะเป็นเช่นนั้น)

ขั้นที่ 3 เขียนแต่ละหัวข้อให้เป็นประโยค เพื่อนำไปเป็น topic sentence ของแต่ละ paragraph

ขั้นที่ 4 ขยายความแต่ละ topic sentence ตามหลักการของ paragraph ที่ดีคือ เขียนขยายความโดยให้มี unity (เอกภาพ) coherence (ความเชื่อมกระชับ) และ adequate development (การดำเนิน การสรรค์สร้างที่เหมาะสม) ตามที่ได้อธิบายมาแล้ว

ข้อแนะนำในการทำต้นฉบับเรียงความ
(หลักการต่อไปนี้เป็นหลักการที่ใช้ในมหาวิทยาลัยของสหรัฐ)

1. ชื่อเรื่อง
-ไม่ต้องใช้เครื่องหมายคำพูด (“ ”)
-ไม่ต้องขีดเส้นใต้ชื่อเรื่อง
-ไม่ต้องใช้จุด period ท้ายชื่อเรื่อง (แต่ใช้? หรือ ! ได้)
-อักษรตัวแรกของทุกคำใช้ตัวนำ (capital letter) ยกเว้น article หรือ proposition หรือ conjunction ที่สั้นๆ เช่น

Why I Am in School
The Best Kind of Education
The Good and the Bad

หมายเหตุ อาจใช้ capital letter กับทุกๆ คำก็ได้ เช่น

Why I Am In School
The Best Kind Of Education
The Good And The Bad

2. อย่าพยายามแยกพยางค์ของคำๆ เดียวกันไปเขียนที่อีกบรรทัดหนึ่ง พยายามเขียนให้พอดีคำ ถ้าเห็นว่าไม่พอก็ไปเขียนที่บรรทัดใหม่ทั้งคำ (ทั้งนี้ แม้ว่าการแยกพยางค์อาจทำได้ แต่กฎเกณฑ์ต่างๆ มีมาก อาจแยกผิด จึงควรหลีกเลี่ยงเสียจะดีกว่า นอกจากจะไม่ผิดแล้วยังทำให้อ่านสะดวกอีกด้วย)

3. เมื่อเขียนผิด ไม่ควรลบ ควรขีดฆ่า วิธีขีดฆ่า คือ ขีดด้วยเส้นๆ เดียว หรือ 2 เส้นขนานกัน อย่าขีดฆ่าด้วยหลายๆ เส้นจนดูยุ่งเหยิง

4. ใช้อักษรตัวเขียนที่เรียกว่า cursive (อย่าใช้อักษรตัวพิมพ์)

หมายเหตุ ต่อไปนี้เป็นตัวอย่างอักษรตัวเขียน ซึ่งเป็นแบบของ Handwriting Research Institute, New York, N.Y.

ตัวอย่างการพัฒนาตอนความ (Developing the Paragraph)
ได้กล่าวมาแล้วว่า การพัฒนา (development) หรือการดำเนินการสรรค์สร้างตอนความจากประโยค topic sentence อาจทำได้ด้วยประการต่างๆ เช่นอาจขยายความโดย

การยกตัวอย่างให้รายละเอียด (illustration)
การอุปมาอุปไมย (analogy)
การจำแนกแยกแยะ (classification)
การบรรยายกระบวนการต่างๆ (process)
การแสดงเหตุและผล (cause and effect)
การเปรียบเทียบสิ่งที่เหมือนกัน (comparison)
การให้คำจำกัดความ (definition)

การบรรยายเล่าเรื่อง (narration)
การพรรณนาลักษณะ (description)

(ตัวอย่างตอนความต่อไปนี้ ประโยค topic sentence คือประโยคตัวพิมพ์เอน ตอนความใดที่ไม่มีตัวพิมพ์เอน แสดงว่า topic sentence implied)

Illustration (การให้ตัวอย่างและรายละเอียด)
And with this wealth, the West exploded. Nothing was too good. New York opera and fine hotels, great bars and gambling rooms, oysters and champagne, velvet and brocades, jewels, silver bells for the churches, brass bands and rosewood pianos. Wagon trains toiled to bring the men of the mining camps everything for which their dollars were waiting. And after the wagons and stages came the railroad, narrow-gauge lines twisting and coiling up the heights of the Rockies or running ribbonlike into the desert. The West was raw and new. A group of miners decided that their favored saloon should have a chandelier, but one objected on the ground that no one knew “how to play it.” Sandy Bowers and Eilley Orrum went to “Yoorup” to visit the Queen of England and to buy half of Paris from obliging Frenchmen. Pennies were refused by storekeepers in Idaho and nickels were gathered together as a nuisance and shipped to San Francisco. Youngsters running errands in the streets picked up twenty dollars a day in tips. Cannons boomed announcing presidential elections and holidays. The streets were a milling mass of ore wagons, horses, mules, burros, cursing teamsters, stagecoaches, and miners. “There was no night …” Saloons never closed and the hurdy-gurdy houses did a round-the-clock business.

จาก It’s an Old Wild West Custom
โดย Duncan Ennich

Analogy (การอุปมาอุปไมย)
On paper our parties look like armies. They have the form of a pyramid, with millions of party members and thousands of local party officials at the base, and national party heads at the top. Like the army, they have a hierarchy of leaders and followers, running from the national committee at the top down to town and precinct committees at he bottom. Actually, the analogy is a false one. The essence of an army is discipline from the top down. This sort of central discipline is precisely what our parties lack. They have been well described as “loose associations of state and local organizations, with very little national machinery and very little national cohesion.”

จาก Government by the People
โดย James McGregor Burns and James W. Peltason

Classification (การจำแนก)
But the Americans had great advantages as well as handicaps, and in the end these turned the scale. One lay in the theater of conflict. They fought in their own sparsely populated land, much of it still wilderness, three thousand miles from Britain. An army might be beaten in one place, and another would spring up hundreds of miles away. The British could no more hold down such a vast territory than they could nail currant jelly to a wall. To transport men and supplies over the wide ocean was costly and difficult, while proper strategic management of the whole British force from London was impossible. Another advantage lay in the superb fighting spirit which American troops at certain critical moments did exhibit. These farmer-soldiers, fresh from the hunting path and plow trail, individualistic and erratic, might be exasperating three fourths of the time, but they sometimes fought like men inspired. The Northern troops who rallied to destroy Burgoyne’s invading army in 1777, and the Southern soldiers who took defeat after defeat in 1780-1781, always returning to the attack till final victory came, proved that a patriotic yeomanry could be unbeatable. Still anther advantage after 1778 was the alliance with France, burning to revenge herself upon Britain—an alliance that brought men, money, encouragement, and, at the final crucial moment, command of the coast. And by no means least among the patriot blessings was the stupid mismanagement which Burgoyne, Howe, and Clinton gave the British troops. Wolfe was dead, and no Wellington emerged.

จาก The Pocket History of the United States
Allan Nevins and Henry Steele Commager

Process : Mechanical การบรรยายกระบวนการทางเครื่องจักรกล
(Topic Sentence Implied)

The subscriber’s instrument differs from the usual one only in having at its base a calling device as a “did.” The small fingerholes of the dial contain the digits from 1 to 9 and 0; sometimes, they also contain letters. Lifting the receiver from the hook causes the “line switch” to connect the calling line to a device known as a “selector” and to send back the “did tone” which corresponds to “Number, please.” Now, instead of giving the number in the usual way, the subscriber dials” it. He puts his finger in the hole of the dial corresponding to the first digit of the desired number, brings it around to the stop, releases it, and repeats the operation with each of the other digits. Dialing the first digit causes the “first selector” to pick out an idle “second selector in the proper thousand group. The second digit causes this switch to select the particular hundred group wanted. The third and fourth digits control the “connector switch” which joins the calling line to that of the called subscriber. At the same time it sends the ringing current over the called line. If the line is busy, auto- matically the “busy tone” comes back to the person calling. Placing the receiver on the hook, when the conversation is complete, instantly breaks the connection and clears the apparatus for another call.

จาก A Popular History of American Inventions
โดย Floyd L. Darrow

Process : Natural (การบรรยายกระบวนการทางธรรมชาติ)
(Topic Sentence Implied)

A tree in the forest, old with too many springs, is conquered by flourishing fungal parasites; on a day of high wind, it falls. The saprophytes slowly devour the log s tissue, and, themselves decaying, feed other saprophytes. The bacteria take over, many linked species, each reducing the dead stuff to forms more elemental, until at last the nitrifying bacteria, both by their living and by their multitudinous dying, release nitrates to the soil. Rain and soil water dissolve them. The roots of bracken, sprung where the old tree grew, absorb them, and they are life again.

จาก Flowering Earth
โดย Donald Culross Peattie

Cause and Effect (การแสดงเหตุและผล)

If the soil is exposed, unprotected from the rains by cover and by roots, the people will be poor and the river will be muddy, heavy with the best soil of the fields. And as a consequence each year the farmers will be forced more and more to use their land in ways that speed up this cycle of ruin, until the cover and then the top soil itself are wholly gone. When that day comes, as it has in the great reaches of China’s sorrowful Yellow River Valley, or in once flourishing Mesopotamia, now gaunt and desolate, then the rains run. off the land almost as rapidly as water runs from a pavement. Even a moderate rainfall forces the river from its banks, and every downpour brings disastrous floods, destroying crops and homes and bridges and highways, not only where the land is poor, but down the river’s length, down in the areas where people are more prosperous, where the soil is still protected and factories have been built at the river’s bend. Industries and railroads will be interrupted, farms flooded out, towns and villages destroyed, while heavy silt deposits fill the power reservoirs and stop up the channels of navigation.

จาก TVA : Democracy on the March
โดย David E. Lilienthal

Comparison (การเปรียบเทียบสิ่งที่เหมือนกัน)

But poetry and advertising have much in common. They both make every possible use of rhyme and rhythm, of words chosen for their connotative rather than their denotative values, of ambiguities that strike the level of unconscious responses as well as the conscious. Furthermore, they both strive to give meaning and overtones to the innumerable data of everyday experience; they both attempt to make the objects of experience symbolic of something beyond themselves. A primrose by the river’s brim ceases to be “nothing more” because the poet invests it with meanings; it comes to symbolize the insensitiveness of Peter Bell, the benevolence of God, or anything else he wants it to symbolize. The advertiser is concerned with the primrose only if it happens to be for sale. Once it is on the national market, the advertiser can increase its saleability by making it thrillingly reminiscent of gaiety, romance, and aristocratic elegance, or symbolic of solid, traditional American virtues, or suggestive of glowing health and youth, depending upon his whim. This is what the writer of advertising does with breakfast food, toothpaste, laxatives, whisky, perfume, toilet bowl cleaners. Indeed almost all advertising directed to the general public is the poeticizing of consumer goods.

จาก “Poetry and Advertising”
โดย S I. Hayakawa

Definition (การให้คำจำกัดความ นิยาม)

By “needs” I mean the inherent demands that men make because of their constitution. Needs for food and drink and for moving about, for example, are so much a part of our being that we cannot imagine any condition under which they would cease to be. There are other things not so directly physical that seem to me equally engrained in human nature. I would mention as examples the need for some kind of companionship; the need for exhibiting energy, for bringing one’s powers to bear upon surrounding conditions; the need for both cooperation with and emulation of one’s fellows for mutual aid and combat alike, the need for some sort of aesthetic expression and satisfaction; the need to lead and to follow; etc.

จาก “Does Human Nature Change ?”
โดย John Dewey

Expository Narrative (การบรรยายเล่าเรื่อง)

… I therefore did not like the opposition of this new member, who was a gentleman of fortune and education with talents that were likely to give him in time great influence in the House, which, indeed, afterwards happened. I did not, however, aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him, but after some time took this other method. Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him expressing my desire of perusing that book and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately; and I returned it in about a week with another note expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility. And he ever afterwards manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged. ” And it shows how much more profitable it is prudently to remove, than to resent, return, and continue inimical proceedings.

จาก The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Expository Description (การพรรณนาลักษณะ)

Basic in the Western way of life is the naturalness of living much in the open. You do not need the weather forecast in order to set the date for a picnic, a camping trip, a hunting or skiing expedition; for a calendar will do. The climate is violent but it is also stable, and in the seasons when rain is not to be expected there will be no rain. Winters are short except in the high country, which lengthens the seasons for summer spots, and the high country is so accessible that the season for winter sports lasts through June end in some places all year. The great fact is the mountains. Mountains are’ within the driving range of all Westerners, even those of the eastern edge of the high plains who can reach the Black Hills. They are a refuge from heat and dust, from the aridity that dehydrates you and the intensity of sun that shrinks the ego. The forests are in the mountains, with the fish and game, the trails, the creeks, the ski runs, and the cliffs that need rope work. More important still, they put solitude and silence at the disposal of everyone. Western life has come to incorporate mountain living. A national forest near large town—the Wasatch Forest for instance, which straddles the range it is named for just above Salt Lake City—will have a million or more visitors in the course of a year, practically all of them from the immediate vicinity.

จาก The America West
โดย Bernard De Voto

ตัวอย่างเรียงความ
Calf Love
Narration
การบรรยายเล่าเรื่อง                                             Hans Zinsser

The first girl I ever noticed in what, later, I recognized as a sentimental emotion was called Mamie. She was the daughter of a truck driver in my father’s chemical factory. We used to play in the large factory yard, where hundreds of barrels of resin were stored on end, and it was great fun to jump from barrel top to barrel top. Mamie had a brother who became a bosom friend, and games of tag on the barrels were organized in which Mamie—being several years younger —was patronizingly allowed to participate. She and her brother were sweet children, amiable and gentle, and I loved them both very dearly. Their lives were hard. At twelve and ten, respectively, they were called upon for severe domestic service, and their poor mother—a stout, redfaced woman—kind enough when she was sober, was less so when drunk. Their happy moments were the ones they spent with me, playing on the barrels, but when I went back to my playroom to have my feet dried and to be fed my supper they went back to a little frame house where dirt, noise, ummerited abuse and frugal tolerance were their lot.

Mamie was blue-eyed and blonde, with a bright blondeness that shone through the dirt on her face and the squalor of her clothes. And how humbly grateful she was to be allowed to be “It,” chasing us over the barrels. There must have been a faint dawning of the endocrines in me even then, baneful prophecy of a long life of struggle, for while I was sorry for Jimmy when I happened to think of being so, there was always a protective tenderness in my heart for Mamie.

One day—it was drizzling—the wet drove us from our playground into a little shed where carboys of sulphuric acid were stored. I dug a nickel out of my pocket and Jimmy was dispatched to the store on the corner to buy some barber-pole candy sticks. Mamie and I sat close together, for we were damp and a little chilly. She stuck up her wet face to be kissed, and I gazed down at her with the warm intention of kissing her. But when I looked into her face, I saw two little rivulets running from Mamie’s nose to her pouted lip. I had never noticed them before, ฝthough I had often observed her sticking her tongue out and upward whenever she sniffed. For ours was a catarrhal climate. Now I looked and saw. But I have always been proud in later days that, even at this early age, I mastered my repulsion and kissed Mamie on her salty lips. Dear Mamie ! What has become of you since ? You were a lovely child, in spite of the rivulets on your upper Up, and—no doubt—you deserved more consideration than the world has given you. What happened to me at that moment has never left me since and is perhaps the only achievement that may eventually entitle me to some measure of self-approbation—namely, the mastery of arrogance and disgust by tenderness and pity.

Rats and Men
Comparison & Contrast
การเปรียบเทียบส่วนเหมือนและส่วนแตกต่าง            Hans Zinsser

… More than any other species of animal, the rat and mouse have become dependent on man, and in so doing they have developed characteristics which are amazingly human.

In the first place, like man, the rat has become practically omnivorous. It eats anything that lets it and—like man—devours its own kind, under stress. It breeds at all seasons and—again like man—it is most amorous in the springtime. It hybridizes easily and, judging by the strained relationship between the black and the brown rat, develops social or racial prejudices against this practice. The sex proportions’ are like those among us. Inbreeding takes place readily. The males are larger, the females fatter. It adapts itself to all kinds of climates. It makes ferocious war upon its own kind, but has not, as yet, become nationalized. So far, it has still stuck to tribal wars—like man before nations were invented. If it continues to ape man as heretofore, we may, in a few centuries, have French rats eating German ones, or Nazi rats attacking Communist or Jewish rats; however, such a degree of civilization is probably not within the capacities of any mere animal. Also—like man—the rat is individualistic until it needs help. That is, it fights bravely alone against weaker rivals, for food or for love; but it knows how to organize armies and fight in hordes when necessary.

Danaldson, basing his calculations mainly on stages in the development of the nervous system, reckons three years of a rat life as ninety years for man. By this scale, the rat reaches puberty at about sixteen, and arrives at the menopause at the equivalent of forty-five. In following man about all over the earth, the rat has—more than any other living creature except man—been able to adapt itself to any conditions of seasonal changes or climate…..

Why the Sky Looks Blue
Process
การบรรยายกระบวนวิธี                                    Sir James Jeans

Imagine that we stand on an ordinary seaside pier, and watch the waves rolling in and striking against the iron columns of the pier. Large waves pay very little attention to the columns—they divide right and left and reunite after passing each column, much as a regiment of soldiers would if a tree stood in their road; it is almost as though the columns had not been there. But the short waves and ripples find the columns of the pier a much more formidable obstacle. When the short waves impinge on the columns, they are reflected back and spread as new ripples in all directions. To use the teachnical term, they are K
“scattered.” The obstacle provided by the iron columns hardly affects the long waves at all, but scatters the short ripples.

We have been watching a sort of working model of the way in which sunlight struggles through the earth’s atmosphere. Between us on earth and outer space the atmosphere interposes innumerable obstacles in the form of molecules of air, tiny droplets of water, and small particles of dust. These are represented by the columns of the pier.

The waves of the sea represent the sunlight. We know that sunlight is a blend of many colors—as we can prove for ourselves by passing it through a prism, or even through a jug of water, or as nature demonstrates to us when she passes it through the raindrops of a summer shower and produces a rainbow. We also know that light consists of waves, and that the different colors of light are produced by waves of different lengths, red light by long waves and blue light by short  waves. The mixture of waves which constitutes sunlight has to struggle past the columns of the pier. And these obstacles treat the light waves much as the columns of the pier treat the sea-waves. The long waves which constitute red light are hardly affected but the short waves which constitute blue light are scattered in all directions.

Thus the different constituents of sunlight are treated in different ways as they struggle through the earth’s atmosphere. A wave of blue light may be scattered by a dust particle, and turned out of its course. After a time a second dust particle again turns it out of its course, and so on, until finally it enters our eyes by a path as zigzag as that of a flash of lightning. Consequently the blue waves of the sunlight enter our eyes from all directions. And that is why the sky looks blue.

Two Causes of Poor Teaching
Cause and Effect
การบรรยายเหตุและผล                                        Bertrand Russell

As matters stand today, many teachers are unable to do the best of which they are capable. For this there are a number of reasons, some more or less accidental, others very deep-seated. To begin with the former, most teachers are overworked and are compelled to prepare their pupils for examinations rather than to give them a liberalizing mental training. The people who are not accustomed to teaching—and this includes practically all educational authorities— have no idea of the expense of spirit that it involves. Clergymen are not expected to preach sermons for several hours every day, but the analogous effort is demanded of teachers. The result is that many of them become harassed and nervous, out of touch with recent work in the subjects that they teach, and unable to inspire their students with a sense of the intellectual delights to be obtained from new understanding and new knowledge.

This, however, is by no means the gravest matter. In most countries certain opinions are recognized as correct, and others as dangerous. Teachers whose opinions are not correct are expected to keep silent about them. If they mention their opinions it is propaganda, while the mentioning of correct opinions is considered to be merely sound instruction. The result is that the inquiring young too often have to go outside the classroom to discover what is being thought by the most vigorous minds of their own time. There is in America a subject called civics, in which, perhaps more than in a any other, the teaching is expected to be misleading. The young are taught a sort of copy-book account of how public affairs are supposed to be conducted, and are carefully shielded from all knowledge as to how in fact they are conducted. When they grow up and discover the truth, the result is too often a complete cynicism in which all public ideals are lost; whereas if they had been taught the truth carefully and with proper comment at an earlier age they might have become men able to combat evils in which, as it is, they acquiesce with a shrug.

Optimism and Pessimism
Definition
การให้คำจำกัดความ-นิยาม                           William Lyon Phelps

I am often called an optimist, and so I am; but perhaps not in the popular meaning of the word. When a worldly wise man calls a person an optimist, he usually regards him with intellectual contempt, just as the elaborate courtesy toward women in the age of chivalry thinly disguised a cynically sensual attitude. Optimism is associated in many minds either with ignorance of life or mental inferiority; and when certain persons call others optimists, look out for them !

Thus recent definitions of the optimist illustrate the superior attitude of the pessimist : “An optimist is a fool unfamiliar with the facts.” “An optimist is one who falls out of a fourth-story window, and as he goes by the third story, he says, ‘So far, so good.’” “An optimist is one who at night makes lemonade out of the lemons that have been handed to him all day.” “A pessimist is one who lives with an optimist.”

Now the familiarly unpleasant back-slapping cheerio person, with a genius for the inopportune, is not necessarily an optimist. He is a nuisance. He was well known and dreaded like a pestilence among the ancient Jews. See the Book of Proverbs, 27:14, “He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him,” and 25:29, “As he that take away a garment in cold weather and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singe songs to an heavy heart.”

A man who attempts to console another by making light of his troubles or by pretending that things are otherwise than what they obviously are will not get very far. One might as well pretend in January that it is June. You cannot get rid of obstacles by ignoring them any more than you can solve problems by forgetting them. Nor can you console sufferers by reminding them of the woes of others or by inopportunely emphasizing other things.

Taking this stiff definition, are there then any genuine pessimists ? Certainly there are. Thomas Hardy was exactly such a pessimist. He affirmed in his last volume of poems that man would have been happier if he could have remained at the stage of lower animal development, with no power of thought. Alfred Housman, the great lyrical poet, says we could all be happy, if only we did not think. It is when we think that we are overwhelmed with gloom.

The custom of congratulating others on their birthdays is really an acquiescence in optimism. We instinctively (and I believe rightly) regard life as an asset. But Swift believed that the worst thing that had ever happened to him was being born. He therefore, like the honest man he was, kept his birthdays as days of fasting and mourning. He wore black and refused to eat.

For my part I find daily life not always joyous, but always interesting. I have some sad days and nights, but none that are dull. As I advance deeper into the vale of years, I live with constantly increasing gusto and excitement. I am sure it all means something; in the last analysis, I am an optimist because I believe in God. Those who have no faith are quite naturally pessimists and I do not blame them.

If a man slips on an orange peel that some moron has left on the pavement and breaks his leg, you will not help him by saying, “Yesterday a man fell here and broke his neck.”If a manifold father loses one of his sons by a motor accident, you can’t help him by saying, “Cheer up ! You’ve got three sons left.”

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” These terrible words were spoken not by a peevish invalid or by a bankrupt, but by the Light of the World. He always and everywhere recognized the forces of evil and never pretended that life was all sunshine. Religion does not pretend that everything is easy and comfortable, for religion is not meant to fill our minds with illusions but rather with fortitude. Our Lord came into the world to show us how to bear the burden of life cheerfully and bravely; life is not easy, but His yoke is.

A true optimist is one who recognizes the sorrows, worries, drawbacks, misfortunes of life, its injustice and inequalities. But while seeing these things, the optimist believes that no matter how strong error may be, truth in the long run will triumph, even though it may not be our truth.

The optimist believes that in the long run virtue has superior staying power as compared with vice; that goodness will eventually defeat evil; that life means something; that character counts; that men and women are of more consequence than sparrows; in short, that this is God’s world and that the moral law is as unshakeable as the law of gravitation.

What, then, is a pessimist ? A pessimist is one who believes that the evolutionary process is the tragedy of the universe or, as Mark Twain put it, that life is the worst practical joke ever played on man by destiny. That from one primordial cell should have developed all complex forms of life through the vegetable kingdom, through the lower forms of animal existence up to man, is generally regarded as an advance. The true pessimist regards it as an irremediable disaster, as the worst of all possible mistakes. According to him, it would have been better had the evolutionary march stopped with the lower forms of animal life and never reached self-consciousness.

The fish, for example, is better off than men and women. The fish functions perfectly. He does exactly what he was meant to do, he has not the torture of self-conscious thought, no fear of death, and dies at the appointed time. But man has thoughts and dreams and longings that seem to belong to eternal life and eternal development, whereas in reality he dies like the fish; only with all his dreams and longings unsatisfied and with the constant fear and horror of annihilation in a universe where, no matter how sublime or far-reaching his thoughts, he is, in reality, of no more importance than a fish and must in the end share the same fate.

Americans Are Queer
Classification
การจำแนกชนิด                                               Stephen Leacock

Americans are queer people : they can’t rest. They have more time, more leisure, shorter hours, more holidays, and more vacations than any other people in the world. But they can’t rest. They rush up and down across their continent as tourists; they move about in great herds to conventions; they invade the wilderness, they flood the mountains, they keep the hotels full. But they can’t rest. The scenery rushes past them. They learn it, but they don’t see it. Battles and monuments are announced to them in a rubberneck bus. They hear them, but they don’t get them. They never stop moving; they rush up and down as Shriners, Masons, Old Graduates, Bankers—they are a new thing each day, always rushing to a reunion or something.

So they go on rushing about till eventually the undertaker gathers them to a last convention.

Americans are queer people : they can’t read. They have more schools, and better schools, and spend more money on schools and colleges than all Europe. But they can’t read. They print more books in a year than the French print in ten. But they can’t read. They cover their country with one hundred thousand tons of Sunday newspapers every week. But they don’t read them. They’re too busy. They use them for fires and to make more paper with. They buy eagerly thousands of new novels at two dollars each. But they read only page one. Their streets are full of huge signs. They won’t look at them. Their street cars are filled with advertising, they turn their eyes away. Transparent colors, cart wheels, and mechanical flares whirl and flicker in the crowded streets at night. No one sees them. Tons of circulars pour through the mails, through the houses, and down the garbage chute. The last American who sat down to read died in the days of Henry Clay.

Americans are queer people : they can’t drink.  All of the American nation is haunted. They have a fierce wish to be sober; and they can’t. They pass fierce laws against themselves, shut themselves up, chase themselves, shoot themselves; and they can’t stay sober and they can’t drink. They have a furious idea that if they can ever get sober, they can do big things. But they can’t hold it. They got this mentality straight out of home life in Ohio, copied from the wild spree and the furious repentance of the pioneer farmer. The nation keeps it yet. It lives among red specters, rum devils, broken bottles, weeping children, penitentiary cells, barrooms, poison hooch, and broken oaths.

Americans are queer people : they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon-as they wake. It is a stimulant—the only one they’re not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at nine; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, make a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but they can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead—toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse! They can’t swim : they use a float. They can’t run: they use a car. They can’t laugh: They hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

Americans are queer people: they don’t give a damn. All the world criticizes them and they don’t give a damn. All the world writes squibs like this about them and they don’t give a damn. Foreign visitors come and write them up; they don’t give a damn.  Lecturers lecture at them; they don’t care. They are told they have no art, no literature, and no soul. They never budge. Moralists cry over them, criminologists dissect them, writers shoot epigrams at them, prophets foretell the end of them; and they never move. Seventeen brilliant books analyze them every month; they don’t read them. The Europeans threaten to unite against them; they don’t mind. Equatorial Africa is dead sour on them; they don’t even know it. The Chinese look on them as full of Oriental cunning, the English accuse them of British stupidity; the Scotch call them close-fisted, the Italians say they are liars; the French think their morals loose; the Bolsheviks accuse them of Communism.

But that’s all right. The Americans don’t give a damn; don’t need to— never did need to. That is their salvation.

Small Town People
Description
การพรรณนาลักษณะ                                    Sherwood Anderson

The well-known small town individualist is an established figure in American life. He is in the cities as in the small town but in the small town you know him. Curious enough characters out of life no doubt pass you by the thousands in the city streets but they come and go swiftly. You do not meet them day after day in the same streets, the same stores. You do not talk with them, know intimately their idiosyncrasies.

In every American small town there is the lonely man who seldom leaves his own house. Usually he is a bachelor. He has let a high hedge grow about the yard almost hiding his house from the street. There are always whispered stories floating about the town concerning his life in the house. It is said that as a young man he was rejected by a beautiful woman. We Americans are born romanticists. Often there are more dark menacing tales. In his youth it is said that he committed some mysterious crime. It may be that he came suddenly into town from another place. Year after year his house remains unpainted. The yard before the house is overgrown with weeds. The front porch is rotting away. Occasionally he is seen emerging from his house at night. He hurries furtively along streets. He continually talks to himself.

Sid Smith is the practical joker of the town. He loves to send the town’s half-wit on fool errands. He sends him to the hardware store for a left-handed monkey wrench, to the print shop to see the type lice. He is the fellow who hands out loaded cigars that blow up in your face. When He has been successful with one of his victims he runs up and down Main Street telling the story, boasting of his cleverness.

The man who loves an argument is down town on Main Street every afternoon and evening. When he sees a group of men talking together, he joins them. He goes from group to group listening to talk and when a statement is made he immediately challenges it.

He grows angry, he shouts. His wife is always scolding him.

“Why are you always making enemies ? Why do you do it ?”

He doesn’t know why. He keeps making up his mind that he will be calm and quiet, talk quietly to others. He can’t do it. On the next day he is at it again. He would really like to be a quiet sensible fellow, leading a quiet sensible life.

In every town there is the woman who is always having operations. She goes from one doctor to another. Almost everything has been cut out of her. She has grown pale and walks with difficulty but she is a proud woman. She thinks of herself as a figure in the community. There isn’t another woman in town who has been through what she has, she keeps declaring. She is one who enjoys her own suffering.

And there is always that other woman, a born nurse. She is a fat jolly soul. When someone is sick she comes to help. She is always Aunt Molly, or Kate, or Sarah, is everyone’s aunt. She spreads cheer, has the touch.

And the schoolteacher who never marries although she was such a fine looking younger woman. She goes on, year after year, teaching new crops of children. She has won the respect of the town but remains, ฟ! her life, an oddly lonely-seeming figure.

Henry Horner is the town butt. He is a man of forty-five and his wife is dead. He lives with his wife’s sister in a house out at the edge of town.

Henry once had a little money and went into business. He became a chicken fancier and concocted a chick food to put on the market. He went from town to town trying to sell it but did not succeed. He spent all his money in the venture.

Now Henry dresses shabbily and has let his hair grow long. He carries a heavy cane and as he goes through the streets of the town boys crow at him. They imitate the cackle of hens that have been at the business of laying eggs and the clarion cry of the rooster. Henry grows violently angry. He waves his cane about, he swears, he pursues the boys furiously but never catches them. As he passes through Maiท Street some man, standing in a group of men by the post office, also crows. Henry approaches the group.  His hands are trembling. He stands before them demanding justice.

“What man of you did that ?”

All the men of the group shake their heads. They look at Henry with blank faces. The town has discovered his weakness. There is a cruel streak in men. They cannot let poor Henry live his life in peace.

A young girl of the town has gone wrong early in life. Some man or boy has got her and has gone about telling the story. Other men and boys begin the pursuit. She is always lying about with men and boys, in fields near the town or in the town graveyard. Here is a story as old as the Bible. In the town graveyard there is a crude and brutal expression of the meeting of life and death.

Thaddeus is the town’s philosopher. He is respected by all the town. The word is out that he is well-read. It is even said that he knows Latin and Greek. Every evening he sits at home reading a book. His wife is a scold but he pays no attention to her. The men of the town speak of him with admiration and envy.

“Gee, I wish I had his education.”

Thaddeus is a quiet serene man who is deeply religious, although he never goes to church. He has worked out his own notion of God. He is a merchant who also owns a farm near town and is fond of young boys. He is very gentle with them. He has no children of his own but, on summer afternoons, he is always taking some boy with him to his farm. Once he caught a clerk stealing money in his store. He did not discharge the clerk.

He is a mystic. “God,” he says to the boy who has ridden with him to the farm, “is in the growing corn. He is in the trees over there in that wood, in the grass in that meadow, in the flowering weeds along the road.” The boy does not understand but feels happy in the presence of the quiet smiling man.

There is the town bully. He is forever boasting of fights he has won. He goes swaggering about with a half-burned cigar in the corner of his mouth. He declares he has never lost a fight.

“I’ll knock your block off. I’ll bust your jaw,” he is always shouting to some one. It is the tradition of the towns that he always in the end meets his match. Some smaller man, infuriated by his insults, lights into him and beats him up. It always happens and when it does it fills the town with joy.

A mysterious woman comes to town. She appears suddenly and rents a house in a quiet residence street. She is one who keeps to herself, makes no acquaintances! When she appears in the street, she is always well-dressed. All sorts of whispered stories about her run through the town. Young boys hear the stories and walk far out of their way going to and from school to pass her house.

The shades are always drawn and the town is convinced that she is a wicked sinful woman. There is a story that she has some connection with a mysterious band of robbers.

Or it is said that she is a kept woman, that she is being kept by a rich man of some distant city. A man of the town who lives on her street declares that often, after midnight, a big expensive-looking car parks before her house and a man enters. To the young boys of the town she becomes a symbol of something strange and enticing, out of some mysterious world of sin. It is said that in her house there are luxurious carpets and expensive furniture, that she wears jewels that have cost thousands of dollars. The woman stays for a time in the house and then disappears as mysteriously as she came. She also remains in the town’s imagination a figure of romance.

Arthur is a thin wiry little man who is always gay. No matter how gloomy the day he is full of good cheer. He knows everyone, cries gaily to others as he hurries through the streets. He goes with a half dancing step.

“Hello! Hello!”

“How are you feeling, Art ?”

“Fine! Fine!”

Arthur is as full of life as a squirrel. He hops and dances. Something inside him is always singing and dancing. He is gay, dive, small, an always cheerful streak of sunlight on the town’s streets.

There is the man who goes with the same woman year after year. He goes to see her every Sunday evening, takes her to church, drives about with her on week-day evenings in his car. He is always at her house on one or two evenings during the week, sits with her on the porch of her house. He began going with her when he and she were both in high school. That was nineteen or twenty years ago. He has never paid any attention to any other woman nor has she ever been with any other man. When she began going with him she was quite pretty but now she begins to look a little worn.  Her mother has died and she is keeping house for her father. The people of the town see the couple going about together year after year. They are a little amused. The word is out that they are engaged. Nothing happens. He just continues to go with her year after year.

There is always the town’s stingy man. People say that he gives Abraham Lincoln a headache the way he squeezes a penny. All American towns have a flare for nicknames. He is called Penny Smith, or Penny Jones.

He has a little store at the end of Main Street where he sells nick-nacks.  it is called a Variety Store.

“Do you know what—I was in Penny Smith’s store. He had dropped a penny on the floor. Several customers came m but he paid no attention to them. They grew tired of waiting and went out. He was down on his knees behind the counter looking for the penny he had dropped. I could have walked off with everything in the store and he wouldn’t have known it. He was too absorbed in finding that penny.”

There is a young man who was once called the bright boy of the town. In school he took ฟ! of the prizes. His father sent him to college. He was the top man in his classes.

He came home and set up as a lawyer or doctor in the town and presently married. He married a daughter of one of the more well-to-do men of the town. He went along, a steady successful quiet man until he was forty.

And then suddenly he went to pieces. Until he was forty he had never been known to take a drink.

Then he began. He took bottles of whisky up into his office, was seen on many afternoons reeling through the streets. No one knows what happened to him. He was one kind of man one day and almost on the next day he became something else.

Now he is the town drunkard and his wife has a frightened look on her face. No one knows what made him do it. It is not explainable, something that fills the town with awe.

Carl is the small town man who has the gift. He may have been the son of one of the more well-to-do citizens of the town or he may have been a poor man’s son. It doesn’t matter. Carl was one, destined from birth, to get on in the world. If he had been a big city man or had lived in one of the industrial cities he might have become a captain of industry, a millionaire. In his own town he does well enough.

Often he has no particular business, goes to no office. He walks about, making trades, he lends money, trades in real estate. Dollars stick to his fingers. Every year, in hard times and good times, he keeps getting ahead. He is one who has the gift, who never overlooks a chance. To the people of the town, he seems a good-natured quiet fellow but he is not very inclined to make friends. The town secretly admires him.

And then there is the man who throws it away. He keeps inheriting money from dying relatives but he cannot keep it. He had ten thousand dollars from an aunt who died in Kansas. Every time he makes an investment someting goes wrong with it. He buys a house and forgets to take out insurance and on the next day it burns. He has several well-to-do relatives and keeps inheriting money but always it slips away from him.

There is a Carrie Nation in almost every American town. She takes it upon her shoulders to look after the town morals. She is ฟways accusing others of some mysterious sin. During the time of prohibition she biecame a powerful figure. She was always telephoning to the sheriff, accusing some man of making or selling liquor. A young man is walking dong the street smoking a cigarette and she stops before him. She stamps her foot, scolds at him.

“Take that cigarette out of your mouth, you filthy thing,” she cries.

She is against the use of tobacco in all forms, against the drinking of any kind of intoxicants, against boys playing baseball or swimming of Sunday, against card playing. She hates all kinds of expressions of gaiety or joy, is down on dancing. She declares dancing leads young girls straight to ruin. She goes to see the girls’ mothers, haunts the town editor? The whole weight of the town’s moral life is on her shoulders.

The characters of the towns give the towns their color. In the small towns you know every man’s idiosyncrasies. They cannot escape you. Life in the towns can be at times terrible or it can be infinitely amusing and absorbing.

The life in the town is a test of man’s ability to adjust himself. It tells the story of his skill in living with others, his ability to go out to others and to let others be a part of his own life. You have to go on living with your neighbors. If they are sometimes queer it may be that they also think of you as queer. Without quite knowing it, you may yourself be one of the “characters of your town.”

How to Detect Propaganda
Tools for Evaluation
เครื่องมือสำหรับประเมินผล                                    Clyde R. Miller

If we are to have clear understanding of presentday conditions and what to do about them, they must be able to recognize propaganda, to analyze it, and to appraise it.

But what is propaganda ?

As generally understood, propaganda is expression of opinion or action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermind ends. Thus propaganda differs from scientific analysis. The propagandist is trying to “put something across,” good or bad, whereas the scientist is trying to discover truth and fact. Often the propagandist does not want careful scrutiny and criticism; he wants to bring about a specific action. Because the action may be socially beneficial or socially harmful to millions of people, it is necessary to focus upon the propagandist and his activities the searchlight of scientific scrutiny. Socially desirable propaganda will not suffer from such examination, but the opposite type will be detected and revealed for what it is.

We are fooled by propaganda chiefly because we don’t recognize it when we see it. It may be fun to be fooled but, as the cigarette ads used to say, it is more fun to know. We can more easily recognize propaganda when we see it if we are familiar with the seven common propaganda devices. These are:

1. The Name Calling Device
2. The Glittering Generalities Device
3. The Transfer Device
4. The Testimonial Device
5. The Plain Folks Device
6. The Card Stacking Device
7. The Band Wagon Device

Why are we fooled by these devices ? Because they appeal to our emotions rather than to our reason. They make us believe and do something we would not believe or do if we thought about it calmly, dispassionately. In examining these devices, note that they work most effectively at those times when we are too lazy to think for ourselves; also, they tie into emotions which sway us to be “for or “against” nations, races, religions, ideals, economic and political policies and practices, and so on through automobiles, cigarettes, radios, toothpastes, presidents, and wars. With our emotions stirred, it may be fun to be fooled by these propaganda devices, but it is more fun and infinitely more tจ our own interests to know how they work.

Lincoln must have had in mind citizens who could balance their emotions with intelligence when he made his remark: “… but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

Name Calling

“Name Calling” is a device to make us form a judgment without examining the evidence on which is should be based. Here the propagandist appeals to our hate and fear. He does this by giving “bad names” to those individuals, groups, nations, races, policies, practices? beliefs, and ideals which he would have us condemn and reject. For centuries the name “heretic” was bad. Thousands were oppressed, tortured, or put to death as heretics. Anybody who dissented from popular or group belief or practice was in danger of being called a heretic. In the light of today’s knowledge, some heresies were bad and some were good. Many of the pioneers of modern science were called heretics; witness the cases of Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno. Today’s bad names include: Fascist, demagogue, dictator, Red, financial oligarchy, Communist, muckraker, ฟien, outside agitator, economic royalist, Utopian, rabble-rouser, troublemaker, Tory, Constitution wrecker.

“ Al” Smith called Roosevelt a Communist by implication when he said in his Liberty League speech, “There can be only one capital, Washington or Moscow.” When Al” Smith was running for the presidency many called him a tool of the Pope, saying in effect, “We must choose between Washington and Rome.” That implied that Mr. Smith, if elected President, would take his orders from the Pope. Likewise Mr. Justice Hugo Black has been associated with a bad name, Ku Klux Klan. In these cases some propagandists have tried to make us form judgments without examining essential evidence and implications. “Al Smith is a Catholic. He must never be President.” “Roosevelt is a Red. Defeat his program.” “Hugo Black is or was a Klansman. Take him out of the Supreme Court.”

Use of “bad names” without presentation of their essential meaning, without all their pertinent implications, comprises perhaps the most common of all propaganda devices. Those who want to maintain the status quo apply bad names to those who would change it …. Those who want to change the status quo apply bad names to those who would maintain it. For example, the Daily Worker and the American Guardian apply bad names to conservative Republicans and Democrats.

Glittering Generalities

“Glittering Generalities” is a device by which the propagandist identifies his program with virtue by use of “virtue words.” Here he appeals to our emotions of love! generosity, and brotherhood. He uses words like truth, freedom, honor, liberty, social justice, public service, the right to work, loyalty, progress, democracy, the American way, Constitution defender. These words suggest shining ideals. All persons of good will believe in these ideals. Hence the propagandist, by indentifying his individual group, nations, race, policy, practice, or belief with such ideals, seeks to win us to his cause. As Name Calling is a device to make us form a judgment to reject and condemn, without examining the evidence, Glittering Generalities is a device to make us accept and approve, without examining the evidence.

For example, use of the phrases, “the right to work” and “social justice,” may be a device to make us accept programs for meeting labor-capital problems, which, if we examined them critically, we would not accept at all.

In the Name Calling and Glittering Generalities devices, words are used to stir up our emotions and to befog our thinking. In one device “bad words” are used to make us mad; in the other “good words” are used to make us glad.

The propagandist is most effective in the use of these devices when his words make us create devils to fight or gods to adore. By his use of the “bad words, “ we personify as a “devil some nation, race, group, individual, policy, practice, or ideal; we are made fighting mad to destroy it. By use of good words,” we personify as a godlike idol some nation, race, group, etc. Words which are “bad” to some are “good” to others, or may be made so. Thus, to some the New Deal is “a prophecy of social salvation” while to others it is an omen of social disaster.”

From consideration of names, “bad” and “good,” we pass to institutions and symbols, also “bad” and “good.” We see these in the next device.

Transfer

“Transfer” is a device by which the propagandist carries over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept. For example, most of us respect and revere our church and our nation. If the propagandist succeeds in getting church or nation to approve a campaign in behalf of some program, he thereby transfer its authority, sanction, and prestige to that program. Thus we may accept something which otherwise we might reject.

In the Transfer device, symbols are constantly used. The cross represents the Christian Church. The flag represents the nation. Cartoons like Uncle Sam represent a consensus of public opinion. Those symbols stir emotions. At their very sight, with the speed of light, is aroused the whole complex of feelings we have with respect to church or nation. A cartoonist by having Uncle Sam disapprove a budget for unemployment relief would have us feel that the whole United States disapproves relief costs. By drawing an Uncle Sam who approves the same budget, the cartoonist would have us feel that the American people approve it. Thus the Transfer device is used both for and against causes and ideas.

Testimonial

The “Testimonial” is a device to make us accept anything from a patent medicine or a cigarette to a program of national policy. In this device the propagandist makes use of testimonials. “When I feel tired, I smoke a Camel and get the grandest ‘lift.’” “We believe the John L. Lewis plan of labor organization IS splendid; C.I.O. should be supported.” This device works in reverse also; counter-testimonials may be employed. Seldom are these used against commercial products like patent medicines and cigarettes, but they are constantly employed in social, economic, and political issues. “We believe that the John L. Lewis plan of labor organization is bad; C.I.O. should not be supported.”

Plain Folks

“Plain Folks” is a device used by politicians, labor leaders, business men, and even by ministers and educators to win our confidence by appearing to be people like ourselves—“just plain folks among the neighbors.” In election years especially do candidates show their devotion to little children and the common, homey things of life. They have front porch campaigns. For the newspaper men they raid the kitchen cupboard, finding there some of the good wife’s apple pie. They go to country picnics; they attend service at the old frame church; they pitch hay and go fishing; they show their belief in home and mother. In short, they would win our votes by showing that they’re just as common as the rest of us—“just plain folks”—and, therefore, wise and good. Business men often are “plain folks” with the factory hands. Even distillers use the device. “It’s our family’s whiskey, neighbor; and neighbor, it’s your price.”

Card Stacking

“Card Stacking” is a device in which the propagandist employs all the arts of deception to win our support for himself, his group, nation, race, policy, practice, belief, or ideal. He stacks the cards against the truth. He uses under -emphasis and over-emphasis to dodge issues and evade facts. He resorts to lies, censorship, and distortion. He omits facts. He offers false testimony. He creates a smoke screen of clamor by raising a new issue when he wants an embarrassing matter forgotten. He draws a red herring across the trail to confuse and divert those in quest of facts he does not want revealed. He makes the unreal appear real and the real apper unreal. He lets half-truth masquerade as truth. By the Card Stacking device, a mediocre candidate, through the “build-up,” is made to appear an intellectual titan; an ordinary prize fighter, a probable world champion; a worthless patent medicine, a beneficent cure. By means of this device propagandists would convince us that a ruthless war of aggression is a crusade for righteousness. Some member nations of the Non-Intervention Committee send their troops to intervene in Spain. Card Stacking employs sham, hypocrisy, effrontery.

The Band Wagon

The “Band Wagon” is a device to make us follow the crowd, to accept the propagandist’s program en masse. Here his theme is: “Everybody’s doing it.” His techniques range from those of medicine show to dramatic spectacle. He hires a hall, fills a great stadium, marches a million men in parade. He employs symbols, colors, music, movement, all the dramatic arts. He appeals to the desire, common to most of us, to “follow the crowd.” Because he wants us to “follow the crowd” in masses, he directs his appeal to groups held together by common ties of nationality, religion, race, environment, sex, vocation. Thus propagandists campaigning for or against a program will appeal to us as Catholics, Protestants, or Jews; as members of the Nordic race or as Negroes; as farmers or as school teachers; as housewives of as miners. All the artifices of flattery are used to harness the fears and hatreds, prejudices, and biases, convictions and ideals common to the group; thus emotion is made to push and pull the group on to the Band Wagon. In newspaper article and in the spoken word this device is also found. “Don’t throw your vote away. Vote for our candidate. He’s sure to win.” Nearly every candidate wins in every election—before the votes are in.

Propaganda and Emotion

Observe that in all these devices our emotion is the stuff with which propagandists work. Without it they are helpless; with it, harnessing it to their purposes, they can make us glow with pride or burn with hatred, they can make us zealots in behalf of the program they espouse. As we said at the beginning, propaganda as generally understood is expression of opinion or action by individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends. Without the appeal to our emotion—to our fears and to our courage, to our selfishness and un-selfishness, to our loves and to our hates—propagandists would influence few opinions and few actions.

To say this is not to condemn emotion, an essential part of life, or to assert that all predetermined ends of propagandists are “bad. What we mean is that the intelligent citizen does not want propagandists to utilize his emotions, even to the attainment of “good” ends, without knowing what is going on. He does not want to be “used” in the attainment of ends he may later consider “bad.” He does not want to be gullible. He does not want to be fooled. He does not want to be duped, even in a “good” cause. He wants to know the facts and among these is included the fact of the utilization of his emotions.

Keeping in mind the seven common propaganda devices, turn to today’s newspapers and almost immediately you can spot examples of them all. At election time or during any campaign, Plain Folks and Band Wagon are common. Card Stacking is hardest to detect because it is adroitly executed or because we lack the information necessary to nail the lie. A little practice with the daily newspapers in detecting these propaganda devices soon enables us to detect them elsewhere—in radio, news-reel books, magazines, and in expression of labor unions, business groups, churches, schools, political parties.

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