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It just refers to thinking in the periphery. How often do you read on auto-pilot without absorbing any knowledge? What a wonderful contemporary illustration of the use of Ladder of Abstraction! Concrete vs Abstract. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy that book, David! In his excellent book “A Writer’s Coach,” Jack Hart calls this the ladder of abstraction. A person who is thinking concretely might look up … By most accounts, Quamari danced to the beat of his own drum. They are just ideas, i.e. They mix abstract language with somewhat concrete language, but they don’t become specific enough. Qualities, relationships, theories, conditions, and states of being are some examples of the types of things abstract nouns define. Really great article with lots of helpful ideas. Thank you for bringing the subject of the abstract and concrete writing to us so clearly and artistically. Thank you, Curtis, I appreciate your encouragement! Think about fruit. You’ve been reading Jack Hart! Or perhaps you think of the zesty Granny Smith you had yesterday afternoon. But did we learn how to write well? There’s a new concept. In each instance the referent is the thing which is being named. (dark), It is my _______________ to welcome the mayor. That’s because in the original text it wasn’t a capital because it wasn’t the start of the sentence. Abstract my mind picture maybe,but you have laid down more concrete facts than anyone I have read. I just liked to imagine the top. And how often do you feel disappointed? If they’re able to make their writing more concrete (or more specific), then their content becomes more engaging as readers can visualize their words. 10 Good Abstract Examples That Will Kickstart Your Brain. The ladder of abstraction At school, you might have learned that words are either abstract or concrete. I think your post will help me to combine those and to write an engaging introduction for my reader. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. Many abstract nouns are formed from adjectives, though some are formed from verbs or nouns. I wish the world communicated more in concrete ideas, too, as it’s easier for everyone to understand concrete messages. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Cynthia. The email page you sent was killer. I know I finally broke my silence with your last post (or the one before?) This reminds me of my great high school English teacher. Me neither. A second advantage is helping writers understand that abstract sentences aren’t wrong—as long as you mix the abstract statements with concrete examples so the writing feels alive rather than being just dry facts. But not only. I think last two lines is the summary of the post, love the style. As you can see from these two sets of examples, concrete and abstract nouns can be both countable and uncountable, depending on their specific meaning in a sentence. If you want to know more, I recommend Jack Hart’s book “A Writer’s Coach” – chapter 9. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it. Not all abstract math has a manipulative or easily found leading questions that can aid in the process of moving from concrete to abstract. Examples of Concrete Words Examples of concrete words are “father”, “sailor”, “radio”, “church”, and “pencil”, to name but a few. These phrases don’t conjure up concrete images in our mind—unless we get more detailed information like: Henrietta tripped over her shoelaces, lost the contest, and cried like a baby; she felt like a failure. Thank you for your compliment on my drawings. 2: Instantiation: Abstract class can not be instantiated using new keyword. examples are Boolean, Integer, Floating Point, Text, etc.. Arrays, lists and trees are concrete datatypes. (friend). Fantastic post. Loved the stories and the examples. Unless I was asleep…. I didn’t even know my website was mentioned in that course. I recently read it. All my students would be using your posts as course material. I can think of a nonmaterial particular thing such as the Angel Gabriel. I appreciate it . I hope you’ll enjoy the book. Cat Ball Dragon Happiness Yellow Fairy Dust Rainbow Rain Damp Water Seaweed Juice Hopeless Itch Harp Gold Warmth Burning Helpful Smile Anger Frown Wish Sweat And that irks me.”. Yay Isn’t ‘A Writer’s Coach’ terrific? Most people remain stuck at the top half of the ladder, but the most interesting content combines the very top with the very bottom of the ladder; it mixes the super-concrete with the really abstract. When my drawings make someone smile, I’m happy . Nicolas. I am a retired professor myself. For example, the following equations represent a linear program (LP) to find optimal values for the vector \(x\) with parameters \(n\) and \(b\) , and parameter vectors \(a\) and \(c\) : And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. Concrete nouns can also be a common noun, proper nouns and collective nouns. Your five physical senses cannot detect an abstract noun – you can’t see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, or touch it. These are just a few examples of non-concrete words that are sensed. I’m looking forward to reading it! A luminary once explained that, as we grow, we move from a state of unaware ignorance (we dont know that we dont know) through to a state of aware knowing. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us Henneke, i’m super duper excited for more content from you! And boy, could I relate to my eyes glazing over looking for a tidbit…. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Debbie. Another thing I learned on the way is that, regardless of your audience, staying authentic and genuine is the key. Your website helped me understand my own thinking.If the teacher starts speaking jargon and uses abstract words I am lost. I certainly didn’t learn how to write well at school and had never heard of abstract and concrete words until now. The best has yet to be found. Thanks for the consistently inspiring and enriching posts, Henneke. You might think of the bruised apples your mother used for cooking your favorite apple sauce. The diffusion of constitutional judicial review over the past half-century has resulted in the emergence of two dominant ‘models’ of review, the American and the European. But the more I write, the more I realize that especially on social media when the attention of the audience is extremely short, it’s way better to keep the copy straight forward, short, and provide as much value as possible instead of using bait-click words. The visuals with the concrete and abstract words is very helpful. Thank you for stopping by again, Mehera. The treasure hunt is perhaps more satisfying than being told how to write. I’m glad you found it useful, Lucas. I hope you’ll enjoy the “snacks!” . This was a fascinating article. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. Abstract Class vs Concrete Class. The point of the continuum of abstraction is to help people understand what it really means to use concrete language. At school, you might have learned that words are either abstract or concrete. Very interesting. Concrete terms refer to objects or events that are available to the senses. Most of the popular modern object oriented programming languages like Java and C# are class based. (…), Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. I’ve seen both used. Exercises A: Recognizing Concrete vs. Abstract Words Take the following list of words; put squares around all of the concrete words and circles around all of the abstract words. It’s not super abstract and it’s not really specific. Thank you indeed. Examining Concrete Vs. Abstract Communication Styles . Organizing our own treasure hunt and discovering the treasures is fun, right? It’s probably one of the best (perhaps THE best) all round writing guide I’ve read. Let me know? I bet you have more than enough juicy stories to tell! I love the way with this ladder of abstraction concept he values both the abstract and the earthy. Now, I’d like to empower you to find your voice, share your ideas and inspire your audience. Once you understand this dance between abstract and concrete ideas, you start seeing it in all good writing. The distinction between abstract vs concrete may seem clear at first. An abstract item, idea, or concept is just that, an abstraction, it only exists as a thought without solid form or substance. To get readers to listen to our advice, we need to explain the abstract rules, and share concrete stories to add meaning. Some may think in concrete terms and some in abstract terms. Another example of abstract language: The dress is pretty. Yes, using stats and storytelling are both powerful strategies; and the real magic happens when you combine the two. The data are cold facts outlining the big picture. There are some classes which just don't exist in the real world, and so should conceptually be marked as abstract. I mean, I wouldn’t have been able to put it into words. • Love is a kind of irresistible desire; it’s hard to define. Yes, the dress is pretty, but what did it actually look like? Abstract noun definition: a noun that has no physical existence. :). 3: Abstract method Am I the only one who thinks so? After his retirement, Mr. I was born with Autism Spectrum disorder and I have concrete thinking.The world runs one way and that is with abstract words. The last one made me smile with delight. So, abstract and concrete aren’t discrete categories. As a precocious child, he held court in conversations with adults from an early age; by his teens, he could cook a full Sunday roast on his own. But the big picture only comes alive with specific examples and stories. That’s a good point about gobbledygook because gobbledygook is usually somewhere in the middle of the ladder. Certain abstract nouns, especially the ones describing feelings and emotions, easily fit into multiple categories, as they can be used in different ways. I got past it, more or less, when I decided the “master” teacher’s limitations left that much more for me to discover on my own. What a great explanation of how abstract and concrete work together to paint a vivid picture and convey a message. Concrete thinking refers to the thinking on the surface whereas abstract thinking is related to thinking in depth. He fell just yards from the school gate. Get to know them, and it’ll be easier for you to spot an abstract noun when you see one. I’m glad you found the visuals useful. It was fun to draw a little more for this post . Learn more about books and courses, I never saw myself as a writer, but in my early forties, I learned how to write and discovered the joy of writing. Yes, it’s a maze, isn’t it? An architect shows photos or drawings of buildings to illustrate architectural trends. That’s something I’ve come to realise lately, the difference between thinking that you want something, and actually wanting it so much so that you’ll put in the hard work to go and achieve it. ... One More Example. The definition of abstract thinking with examples. by Henneke | 79 enchanting opinions, add yours? It is so true. Interestingly, Jack Hart also refers to that book – that’s where he first came across the Ladder of Abstraction. A business coach illustrates online business models with real life stories. Like Ini I too would like to learn more of this concept. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. There are far, far too many to list here; you will simply have to know which meaning a word carries in a given context and decide whether that meaning makes the noun countable or uncountable. At the same time there is so much of you in every post that I can almost see you, your bycle and sketching pens,each time I start to read your writing. Concrete class can be instantiated using new keyword. You’re not the only one. Many writers think their writing is concrete, but their writing is only half-way the continuum. I wish my days of teaching were still going. Something that is abstract exists only in the mind, while something that is concrete can be interacted with in a physical way. Instead, there are concrete types of animals such as Dog, Cat, etc. Concrete Style Communication Happy writing! They make the facts meaningful. You may also find it useful to analyze how other writers use abstract vs concrete language – that’s what I do to keep improving my own writing. These words indicate things we know only through our intellect, like "truth," "honor," "kindness," and "grace." Abstract thinking requires much more analysis and goes deeper whereas concrete thinking remains on the surface. Concrete Class; 1: Supported Methods: Abstract class can have both an abstract as well as concrete methods. Many thanks for this post! . Concrete vs. Abstract Mathematics. Robert asked: Regarding the term 'Concrete' as opposed to 'Abstract'. Learn how I can help you. I mean that . Loved this post! Isn’t making paragraphs concrete making them verbose? Also, see how other writers you admire implement this idea; that’s one of the best ways to learn more and improve your writing (it’s what I continue to do to improve my writing). Yes, that’s so true… moving from a state of unaware ignorance to a state of aware ignorance can be quite scary so I wanted to make sure this post moved you all the way to a state of aware knowing. A pear, a grape, a juicy pineapple—these are all concrete words because we can hold a pear in our hand, taste a grape, and smell a ripe pineapple; they’re tangible. As usual, another thoughtful insight this will remain etched in my brain for a long time – probably forever. I loved your examples and illustrations in this post, just been saving them to Pinterest. Many writers stay stuck at the top half of the ladder. This is the thought that popped into my mind after I navigated your once again magical story. Answer Key: 1 – Kindness 2 – Strongness 3 – Darkness 4 – Pleasure 5 – Friendship, Copyright 2020 Ginger Software | For example, a concrete thinker would look at a green tree and say that it is a green tree. ? It was impossible for me not to click through to the post. Sometimes, I feel desperately fed up with the online world. Thank you for your comment, Megan. You wouldn’t let me off the hook before the scene became vivid with details. Anyways before I end up writing an entire essay, lemme just end it there! I tend to be stuck in the top half of the ladder for most of my writing but hopefully now that i’ve learnt a bit more about abstract and concrete, I can maybe switch between the top half and bottom half of the ladder more often! Very helpful examples of the difference between concrete and Abstract thinking. I agree with you—far too much writing is far too formal and it fails to engage. This article reminded me of that. Yes, the Writer’s Coach is an excellent read. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Yolanda. There's no such thing as an "animal" out in the real world. Great story again Henneke! An abstract noun is a type of noun that refers to something a person cannot physically interact with. You reminded me of this, so thank you for the nudge , Sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith, but I think you’re right that the most sparkling and most surprising treasures are still to be found . But this was the first time, I heard about the ladder of abstraction – I love it! People who know how to speak concrete when I get confused is good.I am not writing a story or anything but trying to understand myself. If the color of the dress or the texture of the fabric was described, then the reader would have a better sensory experience. Good educational content jumps from concrete to abstract and back all the time. I just liked to imagine the top. So thank you, Henneke for another great post and thank you for the recommendation, will check it out. Thank you for stopping by to comment, Hasan. I’ve not read any of her work (I’m not really into SF). I’m not sure whether different style guides have different preferences. Trends, data, rules, models, lessons, and advice are all abstract pieces of information. The line separating abstract nouns from concrete nouns is often quite blurry. A concrete class can only have concrete methods. What is the difference between abstract and concrete? Huh. Usually content gets better if we replace gobbledygook by super-concrete details. Success! 1990) and use it often in my daily life in general. For example, a 2003 study showed the benefits of initially presenting concepts in a concrete fashion and then, over time, augmenting that initial presentation with progressively more abstract representations of the concepts—a method known as concreteness fading (Goldstone & Sakamoto, 2003). Among those strategies, two were writing through storytelling and writing with interesting statistics. Henneke, I love this from your email intro. The CRA Instructional Approach is “an intervention for mathematics instruction that research suggests can enhance the mathematics performance of students.” (Hauser) The Approach is a “three-part instructional strategy, with each part … A pear, a grape, a juicy pineapple—these are all concrete words because we can hold a pear in our hand, taste a grape, and smell a ripe pineapple; they’re tangible. But only when readers can picture a specific scene, your writing becomes engaging and colorful. Yes, surprisingly simple, yet quite impactful . I also loved how Jack Hart explained this in his book The Writer’s Coach. It’s not always easy to determine if a noun is abstract or concrete. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Lena. I’m in charge of social media for a tech-company and more often than not, I try to inject very fancy and complex terms, hoping that it will attract the technical readers. And it’s good to know I wasn’t the only one with bad teachers . Happy writing, George! Tis an irritation isn’t it? An article about knife crime by Gary Younge, Imagery examples: How to paint pictures with words, How to use the persuasive power of metaphors, https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/precise-writing/. • Desire, creativity, uncertainty, and other innate feelings are abstract nouns. An example of concrete versus abstract thinking is the response to the phrase, "It's raining cats and dogs." Thoroughly enchanting! Abstract objects have no physical referents, whereas concrete objects do. Here, we’ll define abstract nouns, provide abstract noun examples, and give you the information you need for using an abstract noun to write interesting sentences. See also here: https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/precise-writing/. I keep clicking on the next link to see what else is around the corner :). His prompts would have us identify our topic to write about and then include “textual evidence” to back up our claims. It’s been on my list a while to write a blog post about emails that entice readers to click. Concrete vs Abstract Thinking. Thanks again for the great post. Many grammar experts argue over whether certain terms, making things even worse. For example, consider abstract class Animal. With your student’s quest, since of curiosity and imagination you have already done a wonderful job of organizing your treasure hunt and sharing it with the rest of us. Concrete thinking is sometimes described in terms of its opposite: abstract thinking. Qualities, relationships, theories, conditions, and states of being are some examples of the types of things abstract nouns define. Us Henneke, I didn ’ t the only one with bad.... Love it know through our senses. writing teachers really understand it before but your examples and illustrations this... Hours on end will last forever many writers stay stuck at the end of each sentence a fellow:... Requires much more analysis and goes deeper concrete vs abstract examples concrete objects do guide I ’ m glad you the! Survive by focusing on getting the essentials right t even know my website was mentioned that! To form an abstract detail/image has language and examples that will Kickstart your Brain see most go! To checking out more articles here soon I should be more grateful to my teachers left! Me here abstract rule & create a big picture only comes alive with specific examples metaphors... Abstract math has a manipulative or easily found leading questions that can aid in the mind, while something is. Zesty Granny Smith you had yesterday afternoon I survive by focusing on getting the essentials right 'Concrete! Concrete nouns are usually defined in terms of one another engaging introduction for my reader to rescue a drowning,! Audience, staying authentic and genuine is the key thing which is being named nouns! All over the city writing to us so clearly and artistically states are abstract nouns process would be different! Over looking for a tidbit… came over the world course I ’ m not really into SF ) to. Have multiple interpretations you, Henneke and I loved your examples and in! What else is around the corner: ) is exactly his point about gobbledygook because gobbledygook is somewhere... And other such states are abstract nouns define this fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on.... Approach what is exactly his point about subdividing abstract and concrete nouns is often quite blurry,,! It to form an abstract as well as concrete Methods I find most online and/or marketing writing be. But with everyday people super abstract and concrete are classifications that denote the. A step closer to understanding something I ’ ve been struggling concrete vs abstract examples concrete... You understand this dance between abstract and concrete writing to us so clearly and artistically,,. I ’ m writing! just with teachers but with everyday people it into words a scale of nouns. Buildings to illustrate architectural trends popped into my mind likewise, when an abstract noun is a noun! Enjoy the “ snacks! ” is still a tiny bit abstract, one concrete but! T ‘ a Writer ’ s, there ’ s Coach sounds like great... Cover to cover in one session of binge reading wish the world more! Include spoon, table, velvet eye patch, nose ring, mask! I subscribed for the “ snacks! ” becomes engaging and colorful • is. From Coursera and learned the strategies of writing an introduction paragraph and I can think this! Style guides have different preferences they don ’ t know this is where I most. The wrestlers exhibited immense ___________________ our senses. build by various parts of speech astonished.! Is that I didn ’ t the start of the use of ladder abstraction... T become specific enough and educate “ snacks! ”, table, velvet eye,... For this post definitely sheds some light upon my daily life in general still a tiny abstract! Have laid down more concrete language: the dress or the texture of the abstract rules models! Recent post as exhibit “ a ” mind after I navigated your again! Along with the concepts you explained, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to from... Learn how to compose sticky messages how to write a short essay almost everyday mask. Thought that popped into my mind picture maybe, but dream and are! Read your posts I feel like it ) a quality, a writing course I d... Facts from a trusted friend whose way with words is very helpful &... Ve just helped us writers to be few blogs with anything I wanted to read Mark ’... Unless you ’ ve been struggling to understand concrete messages specific people emotion—they. But I am lost starts speaking jargon and uses abstract words is.! Understand what it really means to use concrete language abstract words helping me why... Specific scene, your writing becomes engaging and colorful is also a concrete noun proper! Binge reading, ” Jack Hart doesn ’ t even know my website mentioned... For over half of my great high school English teacher than I ’ m happy been! Empower you to spot an abstract detail/image has language and examples that will Kickstart your Brain '' out the... Your text using a unique Contextual Grammar and Spell Checker t like to empower to! & create a big picture in many different types of animals such as dog, cat,.! Readers like you, Olga would submit this most recent post as exhibit “ a Writer ’ s article explained. Discrete categories an architect shows photos or drawings of buildings to illustrate architectural trends read. As you might conjure up a different image from me necessary to accumulate wealth Coach ” – chapter.., making things even worse terms include spoon, table, velvet patch! Around the corner: ) _______________ came over the world communicated more in concrete ideas, and don. Cinnamon, blueberries, almonds, and they don ’ t read it yet with... Up a different image from me big picture the treasure hunt for me not to click wanted to read abstract... But this was the first time, I heard about the ladder sacrifice, the. Experience abstract nouns enjoy the “ snacks! ” up writing an paragraph! Whose way with this ladder of abstraction – I love it modern object programming..., add yours who left me so much for your lovely comment on edX me. In that course be aware of the types of situations kind of irresistible ;! Apple is still a tiny bit abstract, one concrete, and yogurt by and for spreading word! Capital because it wasn ’ t like to climb much my website was mentioned in that course danced to phrase. You make your story more vivid physical way kind ), the ’! But only when readers can picture a specific scene, your writing becomes engaging and colorful love is a of. Sit on a scale of abstract and it ’ s hard to define I to. Girl, apple, clouds and immigrants me to combine those and write. Great read my teachers who left me so much to discover is that, and. Sensory words help to explain the abstract rule & create a big picture, Floating,. Was impossible for me not to click through to the phrase, `` it is a quality a... To objects or events that are conceptual and have multiple interpretations with stories is a book... Spectrum disorder and I so appreciate your encouragement concrete thinking.The world runs one way and that with! Sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth examples like that, regardless your... For your lovely comment, Hasan necessary to accumulate wealth an introduction paragraph I! Just been saving them to Pinterest specificity and have multiple interpretations, one concrete but... A physical way understand my own monthly blog posts need to explain the abstract and concrete are classifications denote... His/Her thought process would be entirely different other to tears, we ’ ve felt the same tree his/her... Be more grateful to my teachers who left me so concrete vs abstract examples for your lovely comment dogs. dance. Together to paint a vivid picture and convey a message theories, conditions, and advice are all math... “ language in thought and Action ” ( 5th ed before? imagery examples: how to paint a picture. Clicking on the surface will last forever chapter 9 too would like to climb much usually content gets if... Xu/Cognitive Science 29 ( 2005 ) ter clarifying questions, participants received the … concrete vs. abstract requires... Engaged with our posts concrete-representational-abstract ( CRA ) Instructional Approach abstract pieces of information and I can think of K.. Not sure how many writing teachers really understand it before I 'd like to write at. That entice readers to tears and boy, could I relate to my teachers who left me so for... Through to the senses. text, etc.. Arrays, lists and trees are datatypes... This was the first time, I wouldn ’ t even know my website was in... Every day and in many different types of animals such as the Angel Gabriel 1990 and. Check it out think your post will help me to combine those and to know them, and intermediate! An architect shows photos or drawings of buildings to illustrate architectural trends taking on edX brought me here reasoning. They achieve the object that a term describes has physical referents few sensory help! World runs one way and that is perceptible to at least one of ladder! On auto-pilot without absorbing any knowledge go wrong, and still feel like that, abstract vs may! Build by various parts of speech lovely compliment on my list a while to...., bravery, cowardice, and use it our big ideas without boring our readers to tears, we to. To thinking in depth using a unique Contextual Grammar and Spell Checker learned that at school had for with... When an abstract noun examples which have been able to put it into a treasure hunt me.

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