1. “Suzanne Britt believes that neat people are lazy, mean, petty, callous, wasteful, and insensitive.” How would you respond to this statement? 2. Is the author’s main purpose to make fun of neat people, to assess the habits of neat and sloppy people, to help neat and sloppy people get along better, to defend sloppy people, to amuse and entertain, or to prove that neat people are morally inferior to sloppy people? Discuss. 3. What is meant by “as always” in the sentence “The distinction is, as always, moral” (para. 1)? Does the author seem to be suggesting that any and all distinctions between people are moral?
1. What is the general tone of this essay? What words and phrases help you determine that tone? 2. Britt mentions no similarities between neat and sloppy people. Does that mean this is not a good comparison and contrast essay? Why might a writer deliberately focus on differences and give very little or no time to similarities? 3. Consider the following generalizations: “For all these noble reasons and more, sloppy people never get neat” (para. 4) and “The only thing messy in a neat person’s house is the trash can” (para. 8).
How can you tell that these statements are generalizations? Look for other generalizations in the essay. What is the effect of using so many? 4. Other methods. Although filled with generalizations, Britt’s essay does not lack for examples (Chap. 3).
“Neat People vs. Sloppy People”, by Suzanne Britt compares the day-to-day life and habits of “sloppy” people to notorious “neat” people. Britt’s point of view leans towards the sloppy person, causing the reader to conclude that the author is most likely sloppy in her own life. The meanings of the adjectives “neat” and “sloppy” seem to be flipped around when defined and exemplified. Someone reading ...
Study the examples in paragraph 11 and explain how they do and don’t work the way examples are supposed to, to bring the generalizations about people down to earth.