Propriety of thought and propriety of diction are commonly found together. Obscurity and affectation are the two greatest faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affectation in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasonings.
Thomas B. Macaulay
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When a new writer defends his "style," the teacher smiles (or cringes) because real style isn't an artifice. Real style - voice - arrives on its own, as an extension of a writer's character. When style is done self-consciously and purposefully it becomes affectation, and as transparent as any affectation - an English accent on an old college chum from New Jersey, for example.
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I have argued with him on almost every subject in the world, and we have always been on opposite sides, without affectation or animosity... It is necessary to disagree with him as much as I do, in order to admire him as I do; and I am proud of him as a foe even more than as a friend.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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I've been trying to write for as long as I can remember. But those first fifteen years didn't produce much of great interest. I mean, it embarrasses me very much to look back on my early poems--very few lines of any merit at all and lots of affectation. But there were quite a lot of them. That's a point in one's favor.
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Affectation is really a question of heart motive. Growing into a persona is an essential part of maturing. Anything you might choose to do is going to contribute to one persona or another. People will only call attention to it if it is markedly different from the course you were apparently on before.
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The naive is what is or appears to be natural, individual, or classical to the point of irony or to the point of continuous alternation of self-creation and self-destruction. If it is only instinct, then it is childlike, childish, or silly; if it is only intention, it becomes affectation.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
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There are some who affect a want of affectation, and flatter themselves that they are above flattery; they are proud of being thought extremely humble, and would go round the world to punish those who thought them capable of revenge; they are so satisfied of the suavity of their own temper that they would quarrel with their dearest benefactor only for doubting it.
Charles Caleb Colton
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Be neat, Philothea; let nothing be negligent about you. It is a kind of contempt of those with whom we converse, to frequent their company in uncomely apparel; but, at the same time, avoid all affectation, vanity, curiosity, or levity in your dress. Keep yourself always, as much as possible, on the side of plainness and modesty, which, without doubt, is the greatest ornament of beauty, and the best excuse for the want of it.
Saint Francis de Sales
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A man is called affected, nowadays, if he dresses as he likes to dress. But in doing that he is acting in a perfectly natural manner. Affectation, in such matters, consists in dressing according to the views of one's neighbour, whose views, as they are the views of the majority, will probably be extremely stupid.
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The manly pride of the Romans, content with substantial power, had left to the vanity of the East the forms and ceremonies of ostentatious greatness. But when they lost even the semblance of those virtues which were derived from their ancient freedom, the simplicity of Roman manners was insensibly corrupted by the stately affectation of the courts of Asia.
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You must be respectful and assenting, but without being servile and abject. You must be frank, but without indiscretion, and close, without being costive. You must keep up dignity of character, without the least pride of birth, or rank. You must be gay, within all the bounds of decency and respect; and grave, without the affectation of wisdom, which does not become the age of twenty. You must be essentially secret, without being dark and mysterious. You must be firm, and even bold, but with great seeming modesty.
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You know what comes next, of course. You know I'm writing this at my desk, on a Thursday, and day after tomorrow I'll put on bib overalls, the neighbors thinking what an affectation, and pull weeds for the composter, and dig a place for a late row of greens, most of them going to seed instead of in the pot, and tell myself what the hell, I just want to dig the dirt and watch the stuff grow, an educated fool at last.
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A man's work reveals him. In social intercourse he gives you the surface that he wishes the world to accept, but in his book or his picture the real man delivers himself defenceless. No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a commonplace mind. No one can produce the most casual work without disclosing the innermost secrets of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham
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I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.
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People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers "" everything is the end of the world, everything rides on this one thing, and everyone tells you you're very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but it ´s actually just how you think. It really seems to you that the sky will fall if you are not personally holding it up. On the one hand, this is sheer arrogance; on the other hand, this is a very real fear. And it isn't that you ignore the potential repercussions of your actions. You don't think there are any. Because you are not even there.
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There is absolutely no such thing as reading but by a candle. We have tried the affectation of a book at noon-day in gardens, and in sultry arbours, but it was labor thrown away. Those gay motes in the beam come about you, hovering and teasing, like so many coquets, that will have you all to their self, and are jealous of your abstractions. By the midnight taper, the writers digests his meditations. By the same light we must approach to their perusal, if we would catch the flame, the odour.
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A man of genuine literary genius, since he possesses a temperament whose susceptibilities are of wider area than those of any other, is inevitably of all people the one most variously affected by his surroundings. And it is he, in consequence, who of all people most faithfully and compactly exhibits the impress of his times and his times' tendencies, not merely in his writings where it conceivably might be just predetermined affectation but in his personality.
James Branch Cabell
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Without a complex knowledge of one's place and without the faithfulness to one's place on which such knowledge depends, it is inevitable that the place will be used carelessly, and eventually destroyed. Without such knowledge and faithfulness, moreover, the culture of a country will be superficial and decorative, functional only insofar as it may be a symbol of prestige, the affectation of an elite or "in" group.
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The good diarist writes either for himself alone or for a posterity so distant that it can safely hear every secret and justly weigh every motive. For such an audience there is need neither of affectation nor of restraint. Sincerity is what they ask, detail, and volume; skill with the pen comes in conveniently, but brilliance is not necessary; genius is a hindrance even; and should you know your business and do it manfully, posterity will let you off mixing with great men, reporting famous affairs, or having lain with the first ladies in the land.
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Envy is the most universal passion. We only pride ourselves on the qualities we possess, or think we possess; but we envy the pretensions we have, and those which we have not, and do not even wish for. We envy the greatest qualities and every trifling advantage. We envy the most ridiculous appearance or affectation of superiority. We envy folly and conceit; nay, we go so far as to envy whatever confers distinction of notoriety, even vice and infamy.
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The simple person lives the way he breathes, with no more effort or glory, with no more affectation and without shame Simplicity is freedom, buoyancy, transparency. As simple as the air, as free as the air The simple person does not take himself too seriously or too tragicallyHe has nothing to prove, since he has no appearances to keep up, and nothing to seek, since everything is before him. What is more simple than simplicity? What is lighter? It is the virtue of wise men and the wisdom of saints.
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Adornment, exoticism, affectation are all willed decadent strategies meant to pervert the texts they made. Decadent texts often live in their descriptive excursions, in their evocation of dreams, mysterious places and states of mind, in their excess of words, not events. The surface of the texts, the sound of the words, point to themselves as manufactured, as illusion. The decadents attempted to create texts that announced themselves as artifice.
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They were a remarkable company, each one of them a unique person, yet characterized to some extent by his particular national type. And all were distinctively 'scientists' of the period. Formerly this would have implied a rather uncritical leaning towards materialism, and an affectation of cynicism; but by now it was fashionable to profess an equally uncritical belief that all natural phenomena were manifestations of the cosmic mind. In both periods, when a man passed beyond the sphere of his own serious scientific work he chose his beliefs irresponsibly, according to his taste, much as he chose his recreation or his food.
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The one affectation I have forced on the publisher ... are my apostrophe-free ellisions. Because I write my scripts to read myself, I dont spell 'don't' with an apostrophe. I spell it 'dont'. We all know the word and it seems foolish to put in an extraneous apostrophe. Punctuation marks are devices we use to make the meaning of sentences clear. There is nothing confusing about a word like 'dont' printed without an apostrophe to indicate an omitted letter.
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Simplicity is a pleasant thing in children, or at any age, but it is not necessarily admirable, nor is affectation altogether a thing of evil. To be normal, to be at home in the world, with a prospect of power, usefulness, or success, the person must have that imaginative insight into other minds that underlies tact and savoir-faire, morality and beneficence. This insight involves sophistication, some understanding and sharing of the clandestine impulses of human nature. A simplicity that is merely the lack of this insight indicates a sort of defect.
Charles Horton Cooley
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Disputes with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; and the same passionate vehemence, in enforcing sophistry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not the source, whence either disputant derives his tenets; it is in vain to expect, that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles.
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Colombe Josse is the older Jesse daughter. Colombe Jesse is also a sort of tall blonde leek who dresses like a penniless Bohemian. If there is one thing I despise, it is the perverse affectation of rich people who go around dressing as if they were poor, in second-hand clothes, ill-fitting gray bonnets, socks full of holes, and flowered shirts under threadbare sweaters. Not only is it ugly, it is also insulting: nothing is more despicable than a rich man's scorn for a poor man's longing.
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He showed, in a few words, that it is not sufficient to throw together a few incidents that are to be met with in every romance, and that to dazzle the spectator the thought should be new, without being farfetched; frequently sublime, but always natural; the author should have a thorough knowledge of the human heart and make it speak properly; he should be a complete poet, without showing an affectation of it in any of the characters of his piece; he should be a perfect master of his language, speak it with all its pruity and with the utmost harmony, and yet so as not to make the sense a slave to the rhyme. Whoever, added he, neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors.
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But Carroll's were more convoluted, and they struck me as funny in a new way: 1) Babies are illogical. 2) Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile. 3) Illogical persons are despised. Therefore, babies cannot manage crocodiles. And: 1) No interesting poems are unpopular among people of real taste. 2) No modern poetry is free from affectation. 3) All of your poems are on the subject of soap bubbles. 4) No affected poetry is popular among people of taste. 5) Only a modern poem would be on the subject of soap bubbles. Therefore, all your poems are uninteresting.
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A critic can call any poem 'doggerel.' That is no more than a slur. 'Doggerel' or 'maudlin' or 'sappy' or 'sentimental' is in the ear of the listener. By the by, 'sentimental' is okay as it is defined as 'marked or governed by feeling, sensibility, or emotional idealism.' It is 'sentimentality' that is to be avoided, like the fiddleback spider, being as it is 'the quality or state of being sentimental to excess or in affectation.' Again we are faced with a judgement call and must keep a sharp eye on our outpourings to insure they are not overly gooey. The intellectual elite probably believe that most of the lyrics songwriters create are 'doggerel' of one kind or another-that is to say 'trivial"... the young songwriter has now been warned about the implacable nature of the enemy. Under a rather large umbrella, preferred twentieth-century taste in art of all kinds has been characterized by a kind of detachment, or sangfroid. It is simply not chic to be carried away in one's emotional reaction to a subject. All serious communication or complaint must be carefully wrapped in a protective coating of irony and/or satire.
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