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!
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  • You’ve been


  • 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.

  • 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!