Superlative Style of Composition — In Action

I’ve writ­ten before about what I call the Superla­tive Style of Com­po­si­tion with regards to writ­ing - where a writer blends con­cep­tual and per­cep­tual styles into the most per­sua­sive style of writ­ing. Let us take an exam­ple to illus­trate this. I’m refer­ring to Ergo talk­ing about why India is not a tourist brochure.

The goal of the writer is to con­vey: “the pre­dom­i­nant ethos of the Indian cul­ture is not that of benev­o­lence, friend­li­ness, or ratio­nal­ity but the oppo­site of these.”

If one had cho­sen to write con­cep­tu­ally about this, it would prob­a­bly have resulted in a dry essay on a purely “intel­lec­tual” level, to which many read­ers may not have responded at all. (If you’re won­der­ing about the quotes around “intel­lec­tual”, I think it is an unfairly derided term. For more, read this).

Instead, observe the style of the com­po­si­tion: the writer inter­sperses per­cep­tual expe­ri­ences (in other words — what one expe­ri­ences in a day-to-day life) with the con­cep­tual infer­ences he draws from it.

This helps the reader under­stand and appre­ci­ate why the writer is draw­ing these con­cep­tual con­clu­sions from his experiences.

I’ve read tons of blog posts that either deal only with the per­cep­tual (expe­ri­ence) level, or just sim­ply con­cep­tual ram­blings, but very few that syn­the­size and har­mo­nize the two. That is what I mean by the Superla­tive Style of Com­po­si­tion.

No sur­prises here, as Ergo gets the Intel­lec­tual Blog­ger Award from me!


  1. I am not say­ing one should agree with what is being said in this superla­tive style. My posts are about the styles of com­po­si­tion being used, not the con­tent in them.
  2. Ergo has prob­a­bly not read my posts about Styles of Com­po­si­tion, and is com­pletely obliv­i­ous to what I’ve writ­ten about. This is good in terms of objec­tively assess­ing what I’ve written!
This entry was posted in blogging, media, personality, psychology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • asuph

    You’ve been


  • Ergo

    I’m flat­tered by your praises of my writ­ing. :) You’re right, I’m not famil­iar with your writ­ings on the Style of Com­po­si­tion, but it sounds intrigu­ing. I’ll take a look.

  • mahen­drap

    Amit: your first com­ment on my blog — and that’s a tag!

    Ergo: you’re wel­come. I should thank you for pro­vid­ing me with a per­fect case study!