How can you write in the style of Jeremy Clarkson?My English teacher wants me to write the story 'A Day in the Life of a Penny' in the style of Jeremy Clarkson, and I'm having a little trouble. I...

How can you write in the style of Jeremy Clarkson?

My English teacher wants me to write the story 'A Day in the Life of a Penny' in the style of Jeremy Clarkson, and I'm having a little trouble. I could write the story hands down if it weren't for the Clarkson bit!

Jeremy Clarkson is well known in England and is a presenter of Top Gear (a TV programme about cars). He's also a writer for The Times, a famous English newspaper.

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kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Using Jeremy Clarkson's March 7, 2010 article "What a daft way to stop your spaniel eating the milkman" as an example, Clarkson's authorial style has some marked features that your imitation will need to -- imitate. First, Clarkson is given to repetition and opposition ("one man once got on one plane in a pair of exploding hiking boots and as a result everyone else"). In this quote, "one" is repeated and then opposed to "pair" and "everyone else."

Secondly, Clarkson is given to hyperbole, often with a sarcastic undertone intended to indicate criticism delivered in a humorous way: e.g., "everyone else in the entire world is now forced to strip naked at airports and hand over their toiletries to a man in a high-visibility jacket."

Sarcasm, surprisingly, is a word that seems difficult to define with consistent agreement. Cambridge Dictionary Online seems to define it best as: "the use of remarks which clearly mean the opposite of what they say, and which are made in order to hurt someone's feelings or to criticize something in a humorous way." In Clarkson's case, sarcasm accompanies hyperbole as an undertone (it isn't necessarily direct sarcasm; e.g., the men may really wear high-vivibility jackets) to make criticism emphatic.

Hyperbole, a figure of speech of the literary device/literary technique classification, is exaggeration used for dramatic or other effect. For example, Clarkson writes: "forced to strip naked at airports... ." Clearly, no one strips naked at airports, through force or otherwise, but the ritual that is imposed at airports is nonetheless -- shall we say -- ridiculous -- or absurd -- and Clarkson's hyperbole with sarcastic undertone ("toiletries to a man in a high-visibility jacket") makes this point perfectly well because our toiletries (shampoo and what not) are (besides oftentimes being toxic) perfectly innocent and not worthy of the attention of a "man in a high-visibility jacket."

Another feature of Clarkson's style is that he is direct in pronouncements of his feelings, reactions and opinions--direct yet not vulgarly harsh:

It just changes the pattern of everyday life for everyone else. This is what drives me mad.

We now think it’s normal behaviour to take off our clothes at an airport. But it isn’t. Nor is it normal to stand outside in the rain to have a cigarette or to do 30mph on a dual carriageway when it’s the middle of the night and everyone else is in bed. It’s stupid.

And he is, in his humorously sarcastic hyperbolic manner, realistic:

at the extremes, you have 5% who are goodie-goodies and who become vicars, and 5% who build exploding hiking shoes and starve their children to death... . We must start to accept that 5% of the population at any given time is bonkers.

Your imitation of Clarkson will incorporate these stylistic features and any others you identify for yourself, like sentence length and rhythm, vocabulary tendencies, use of examples, other figures of speech, etc.

philipsteele's profile pic

philipsteele | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Reading is the best way for increasing the writing capacity. There are many books you can make use from library, read more and more as much as you can. This will helpful for finding the writing style of various great authors and also write something about anything in each day. Practice is the most important factor of writing. If you don’t practice then you can’t do anything.

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