It’s that CTB chap again.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I tend to get about ten to twenty hits a day. The exception to that was the day I got about 16,000 hits because of CTB (aka Ryan Giggs) and the business about the superinjunctions earlier this year. That quickly calmed down and the shores of my little island were no longer battered by the storms of popular interest. I think there was a short-lived surge after that about this particular topic, and now there’s been another one (a couple of days ago), although I can’t say what prompted either. I’m sure there are better sources of information out there than this blog.
Coherence and cohesion. I never really knew you.
My learned colleague, Mr Jones, has been banging on at his classes about paragraph unity recently, which got me thinking about the matter, and then wondering – for the first time ever – what coherence actually means. When I was looking at a writing guide I bought from Cosmos Books in Hong Kong a few years ago, I found that the definition (more or less “each sentence has to be relevant to the topic”) was not quite the one I’d been applying.
I’ve been treating coherence as the degree to which a sentence is comprehensible and, to a much lesser extent, relevant to an argument. I wasn’t applying it to the grammar inasmuch as I was applying it to the sense of what was written (and the mark scheme we’ve been using has a separate section for grammar). I suppose I might say clarity.
But when I start then considering cohesion, I must admit that I’m much less certain what coherence really means if it’s about the relevance of a sentence to the topic of a particular paragraph. To me cohesion is about the connections between sentences. A non sequitur, for instance, violates cohesion because one sentence doesn’t follow the sense of another and may not even be relevant to the topic.
Observing that coherence and cohesion both come from the verb cohere, I’m not inclined to regard either as especially useful where two clearly distinct terms such as argument structure (or, on second thoughts, relevance might be a better choice because of the potential breadth of argument structure) and connectivity would, I think, be preferable. But it might also help to think of coherence as the y-axis (that is the relationship between the topic of the paragraph and the sentences in that paragraph) while cohesion is the x-axis (the relationship between one sentence and the next).
Thus the AS students may have better coherence than I thought, and staccato1 to bad2 cohesion. There’s generally a poor flow of ideas, and it’s often hard to see a clear narrative thread, which makes me wonder whether I’m the idiot. (Actually, that should be the sign telling me that they’re the ones making a mess of things.)
- Ideas are relevant but come one after the other without any proper development.
- Non sequiturs abound.
Out with the new and in with the newer.
The previous version of Frέegαтe was a very short-lived thing, having lasted little more than a week or so before the latest version appeared this morning. There’s been a slight change to the old girl, too, with the numbers now in percentages instead of milliseconds, whatever that means.