Artful Sentences and Beautiful Evidence

by Terrie Miller

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On Friday Brian Jepson sent email to the O'Reilly Editor's list about a new book Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style by Virginia Tufte.

I'm interested in anything published by Graphics Press, so I visited the web site right away to find out more. It sounds intriguing:

"More than a thousand excellent sentences chosen from the works of authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries....Fresh examples from fiction and nonfiction bring new insights into the ways syntactic patterns work. Because the examples are such a pleasure, readers may be tempted to skip anything else, but the comments are inviting also, calling attention to techniques that are useful to writers of almost any type of fiction or nonfiction."

Indeed I ordered "Artful Sentences"...but there was another big treat waiting for me at the site. Beautiful Evidence, the fourth volume in Edward Tufte's wonderful series on information design, is at the printer and available for pre-order!

I took Tufte's one-day class almost five years ago, and it's influenced me more than any other class or conference I've attended (and in over six years as an O'Reilly employee, I've attended some pretty amazing stuff!). I still enjoy refering to the three books (The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, and Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative) and to my notes from that day. I've been waiting for the fourth book ever since. Intriguing previews have been posted to the Ask ET forums, but I'm delighted that "Beautiful Evidence" is almost here, and "Artful Sentences" sounds like it will sweeten the wait.


2006-02-26 10:34:03
Mangled quote
Perhaps you should change the quote to match their website : )

'chosen from the works of authors in the twenty-first centuries'

2006-02-26 18:12:16
Mangled quote
Thanks guet2 -- I corrected that to the more artful "authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries".

It would have been nice to be able to copy and paste some of that text! Let me know if I mangled anything else.