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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Contest: Literary Style

I think it is time to retire the Literary Style poll from this blog. It has been up for quite a few weeks but has only received 54 responses, unlike other polls on this blog which have gotten many more responses. This blog gets a good number of visitors that create a potential pool of respondents from which I would have anticipated many more responses. So, I conclude that there must be something about that particular poll and the post it was based on that was not as interesting for others as it was for me. No problem! Here are the responses from the 54 votes:

was not good literary English 65%35
had literary excellence, similar to some Bible versions 35%19
54 votes total

I don't think the vote spread from 54 responses is statistically significant. But as responses have come in, they have consistently been in favor of the option that the English in my Literary Style -- Part 4 post "was not good literary English." I hope this will not surprise anyone, but I agree with the majority on this one. In fact, I agreed with them before I posted that essay. I admit that it was difficult for me to write that piece. It took great effort on my part to stay "in character" of the literary style that I was emulating.

Perhaps there were so few responses because many people found the essay difficult to read. Maybe it was too long for busy blog surfers. Perhaps visitors to this blog didn't want to hurt my feelings by voting that the English quality of my own essay was not good. It is interesting that I did receive comments from some who stated how wonderful they considered the English of the essay to be. My wife and I got quite a laugh out of reading such messages, especially since I had struggled so hard to write within the style that I used and because both of us prefer reading English of a more contemporary style, unless we are reading literature which was actually composed in a previous stage of English, not simply a translation made to sound like something written in that time period. And I have to accept the fact that there are some people who truly like that kind of flowery, periphrastic (not paraphrastic!!), "classical" literary style with strange syntax. I must be tolerant of those who do, just as I would hope that others can be tolerant of my preference for more contemporary, good quality literary English (including contemporary literature which could qualify for one of the literary prizes such as the Nobel or Pulitzer prizes).

OK, I hope there is still enough interest in that post and the poll about it to have another contest on this blog. Here is how this contest will work:
1. Length of contest: 48 hours from the time this post is published.

2. Requirements:
a. State which English Bible version the Literary Style -- Part 4 post most closely resembled
b. Excerpt as many phrases (let's say three or more words) or sentences as you can find which are direct quotes from that version in my post
c. Give the biblical reference for each quote in (b). The quotes have to be exact matches, not paraphrases or near matches
d. Send me all your contest data as a comment to this post or via email to me at address: wayneleman at netzero dot com. I reserve the right to honor the winners by posting their winning data as a blog post.
e. You are welcome to revise your entry if you come across more quotes which can be submitted. Your highest correct number of quotes will be your contest score.
3. Winners: the two individuals who correctly guess the version emulated AND who have the most number of correctly quoted phrases and sentences from that version will be the winners.

4. Prizes: the winners will be able to choose one each of the Bible versions I am giving away. The winner with the highest number of quotations from the emulated version will get to choose their prize first. The versions remaining in my collection to be given away are found in the previous post for the 5-5 contest. Version #5 in that list was chosen by Michael Sly, the winner of our previous contest. So the remaining versions are:
a. nearly new beautiful hardback NLT, First Edition
b. nearly new paperback TNIV
c. older hardback NIV
d. HCSB: new large print paperback of the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs
5. I will pay for postage for the winners' prizes to be mailed to them.
I hope a number of you enter this contest. It will take some sleuthing to do the research for the contest, but I think it will be interesting. I hope you agree. For those who may wonder why I am giving Bibles away, my wife and I are moving to the state of Washington, to be near our oldest daughters and their families. The Bibles I am giving away are extras. The more extra books I can give away, the less will be the weight of the load on our rental truck.

Have fun!

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At Wed Jul 06, 11:56:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

Advertising campaigns by leading cosmetic companies make claims like "92% of women reported improvement" or "87% of women said it work". Recently their TV ads showing in the United Kingdom have included the sample sizes. Following their lead I don't think that Wayne's survey with "only" 54 responses is anything to be concerned about. The cosmetic products with such huge success rates have been tested on ... you will be amazed at the huge population sizes for the trials ... less than 60 women! Indeed one had a population size of 48.


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