Neat People vs Sloppy People

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  • Topic: Verb, Verb phrase, Irony
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The analysis of the passage Neat People vs. Sloppy People

(外文学院02级2班 王思 020214214)

Abstract: Suzanne Britt’s work Neat People vs. Sloppy People is a passage of comparison. In this passage, Britt distinguishes neat people from sloppy people in the moral aspect. She used kinds of figures of speech such as paradox, hyperbole, metaphor and so on in the description and comparison, making her work so distinguished. Key words: neat people, sloppy people

Ⅰ.Brief account of the author
Assistant Professor of English. A.B. Salem College; A.M. Washington University. Ms. Britt teaches literature and writing courses. Her poems have appeared in literary magazines such as Denver Quarterly, Lake Superior Review, Greensboro Review, and Southern Poetry Review. Her essays and articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Charlotte Observer, Newsweek, the New York Times, Books & Religion, the Boston Globe, Newsday, and the Miami Herald. She is the author of several books, including Skinny People Are Dull and Crunchy Like Carrots (now out of print), Show and Tell (Morning Owl Press), A Writer's Rhetoric (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), and Images: A Centennial Journey (Meredith College Press). Her essays have been widely reprinted in college textbooks both in the United States and Canada. She now writes regularly for the Authors Ink and has completed a novel. (Jackson)

Ⅱ. Brief account of this passage
This passage of comparison is organized in the subject-by-subject pattern. The author first discussed the sloppy people fully, and then turns to the discussion of the neat people. From the title Neat People vs. Sloppy People the readers can already get the main idea of this passage: the comparison between neat people and sloppy people. “Neat people” and “sloppy people” are a pair of antonyms, so it seems that there is no need to compare, but the author does the comparison from the aspect of morality, which is the difference between neat people and sloppy people. This idea is quite so special and therefore is able as to arouse attract the readers’ interest.

Ⅲ. Brief account of the theme of this passage
In Suzanne Britt’s essay Neat People vs. Sloppy People, she carefully and humorously compares the two kinds of individuals. In her opinion, the variation was not merely the differences in preferences in cleanliness, but in morality. She states, “Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people”. This is a bold statement, assuming that all neat people are lazy and mean, when some may beg to differ. Others consider sloppy people to be the lazy ones. (No author, no date) (please elaborate the purpose of the author in his writing of this passage and the theme) Ⅳ. Linguistic presentation of the theme

A. Lexical features

a. Adjectives:
While talking about the sloppy people, the author uses a series of adjectives: heavenly, precise, great, perfect, noble and so on. These adjectives seem to be commendatory words, but used here, they create a kind of sarcastic. For the vision and the plan are so great that they couldn’t be achieved now or in the future, let alone the sloppy people who just carry them in mind. b. Verbs and verb phrases

The verbs: drop, pile up, accumulate, buried and threaten make the description more vivid. The two verbs “drop” and “pile up” cause some kind of contrast, which makes the examples more impressive. And the words “buried” and “threaten” are in fact a kind of personification, making the description more interesting and vivid. According to the verbs, we can imagine how the sloppy people “saying is one thing, doing is another thing”. It is much easier to say than to do. Therefore, it becomes quite easy for us to understand how sloppy people become careless and untidy. The verb phrase “toy with the idea” means considering the idea idly or without serious intent. Here, the characteristics of sloppy people are...
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