Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture has been described as having a blogger-like tone. What is a blogger-like tone?
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Your question made me smile, but it does accurately sum up the tone of this piece of literature. I guess blogging represents a form of literature that focusses on "snippets" - short, sometimes rambling intermissions that could also be described as verging on stream of consciousness depending on the author as they provide short, readable "fragements" or "chapters" about a particular topic.
The word 'blog' is an abbreviation - it's a shortened form of the longer words 'web log' both run together 'weblog' then simply shortened. So, a 'log' is a diary like a ship's log, except it's a log of a person's daily life so they are very varied! One famous blog about the diary of an ambulance driver was picked up by a publisher and became a book - and there have been several more since then. So blogs can be about medicine, a journalist's daily job, a photographer or film-maker/war-correspondent. Relevancy of vocabulary is important so experienced bloggers who want their posts found and read, will 'build' their short snippet content round topical search terms and other key words. The style is casual and friendly and often suurprisingly personal.
Matthew Arnold said, “Journalism is literature in a hurry.” If that's the case, then “Blogs are journalism in a hurry.” And “A Tweet is a blog in a hurry.” “Writer’s block is me in a hurry.”
The Last Lecture is written in blogger-tone because not only did he write it in a hurry, but it is a "live" conversation with a mass audience. It is meant to be didactic (he's a professor) and informal. He uses many anecdotes, digressions, humor, pop-culture allusions, lists, and what is called "microcontent" (small mini-headings that can be skimmed by a reader).
Example: So Alice is a project thatwe worked on for a long, long time. It's a novel way to teachcomputer programming. Kids make movies and games. The head fake,again, we're back to the head fakes. The best way to teach somebodysomething is to have them think they're learning something else.... the head fake here is that they're learning to program butthey just think they're making movies and video games. Thisthing has already been downloaded well over a million times.... And it's not the good stuff yet. The good stuff is comingin the next version. I, like Moses, get to see the promisedland, but I won't get to set foot in it. And that's OK, becauseI can see it. And the vision is clear. Millions of kids havingfun while learning something hard. That's pretty cool. I candeal with that as a legacy.
Notice the high-frequency words, first person pronouns, simple sentences, and the microcontent out front, "Example."
This is not to say that Pausch's message is trivial. Rather, it is built on a style of good-humored urgency that juxtaposes the grim seriousness of his disease.
I don't know that I would have thought of that simile, but it seems pretty apt when applied to this book.
To me, what this means is that he writes in short little episodes, using a very breezy and informal style.
Bloggers tend first of all to write fairly short posts that get to the point pretty quickly. They also do not (presumably) spend a lot of time editing so the style sounds very much as if they were just sitting there talking to you. Both seem to be true of Pausch's book.
In order to understand what a blogger like tone is, one must analyze what constitutes blogging. Since blogging is a newer concept and is familiar to most writers and professors of today, many of them use it as a medium to portray information about themselves or to respond to others via the Internet. Blogging is adding commentaries on line line in short narrative form. E-notes is a type of blog used to help students find answers to questions.
The use of the blogging style in literature is the presentation of information in spurts to communicate with the reader. In the book "The Last Lecture" Randy shares his experiences in a personal way so that others can learn from him. On line blogging often involves daily exerts of wisdom and tales told by those who operate the personal blog site.
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