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    #1

    Red face recursive?

    we can often hear the different genres of writing such as argumentative, narrative, descriptive...

    What really is recursive? Dictionaries seem not to define it clearly in this respect.

    Thanks

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: recursive?

    Recursive writing is not a genre, as far as I know.

    Writing is Recursive

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: recursive?

    It's not a genre, as 5jj said; it's not like 'argumentative', or any of your other examples. Sometimes it just is. For example, this definition:

    Code:
    recursive - see 'recursive'
    (Incidentally, i think the person who wrote that blog doesn't have a very clear idea of what 'recursive' means. In any useful sense of 'recursive', the generalization 'Writing is recursive' is nonsensical. The blog says that writing involves multi-tasking, involves simultaneous attenton to different stages of the same process, is sometimes reiterative...)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 04-Feb-2012 at 16:37. Reason: Clarify

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    #4

    Re: recursive?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Tedwonny,

    I wonder if this is what you are referring to.

    (1) A famous grammarian (linguist) named Noam Chomsky came up with the idea

    of recursion.

    (a) Ms. Kayla Sheridan defines it:

    "The ability to endlessly string together embedded phrases is what separates

    human language from animal communication."

    Source on Web: Recursion, Culture and the Definition of Language.

    (2) I found this example of recursion on the Web:

    This is the mouse that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

    Source: English 2126: Modern English Grammar. The Noun P ...

    (3) If you are interested in learning more, you may wish to google "recursion,"

    "embedding," or "nesting."

    Thank you for introducing this interesting topic to me.
    Last edited by TheParser; 04-Feb-2012 at 16:48.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: recursive?

    This is what I've come to know as recursion. But it isn't the meaning used in the blog cited by 5jj. I don't know whether that is a widely accepted usage, or whether the word in that instance is just a victim of the profit motive

    b

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: recursive?

    To understand the concept (which predates Chomsky by a long way) I'd go to the bookstore and have a look at this book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by D. Hofstadter. It's actually one of my favourite books (since I was about 16).

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    #7

    Question Re: recursive?

    Oh, thanks guys

    No, it has nothing to do with Chomsky, Universal Grammar, Nativism...

    It is a term used by some textbooks and it seems to be discribing the processes of writing more instead of a genre. What about discursive writing then?

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: recursive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    Oh, thanks guys

    No, it has nothing to do with Chomsky, Universal Grammar, Nativism...

    It is a term used by some textbooks and it seems to be discribing the processes of writing more instead of a genre. What about discursive writing then?
    Again, 'discursive' is one of the many adjectives that could be applied to certain types of writing, but it's not what that blog's about.

    b

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    #9

    Re: recursive?

    In mathematics and computer science, recursion is a very powerful and useful concept, whereby complex problems can be reduced to simpler and smaller versions of the same problem.

    Might I also recommend "The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood", by James Gleick, my favorite book in recent years.

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