Russo observes that the Homeric epics use a particular dialect all their own. This differs significantly from what most members of a modern audience would expect. He further nots that audiences should also ask whether the Homeric works are genuine oral compositions (Russo 1994, 371). Russo's previous suggestions in the field have been based on finding an aural means of appreciating Homer (Russo 1994, 372). Looking for formulaic figures or linguistic features may not, however, be the most useful way of recognizing or appreciating Homer's style.
Rather than pusuing formulas or grammar, Russo sets out to describe trops used by Homer which give the works their flavor. This differs from identifying formulas in that it does not look at quotable content so much as at aesthetic presentation elements (Russo 1994, 373). These stylistic elements, which Russo sees as often consider "stylistic and narrative infelicities" (Russo 1994, 374) may actually be part of a purposeful style, part of Homer's aural toolbox.
Russo illustrates the stylistic features as found in Odyssey 4.363-90 (Russo 1994, 375ff). Here there are many examples of linguistic expansion, linking ideas together. Russo sees Homer as presenting some redundancy so as to avoid any abrupt expression (Russo 1994, 377). Other types of extension tropes are used throughout Homer's work. In review of other scholars, this writer has regularly seen such tropes identified as means by which the poetic meter can be maintained. However, Russo considers it as a means by which the character concept is enlarged through use of epithet (Russo 1994, 378). Likewise, when a sequence of events is reversed (e.g., having dressed after bathing), the setting or character is amplified (Russo 1994, 379-80). Antoehr means Russo identifies to this same end is ambiguity or grammatical oddity (Russo 1994, 381). This may well not be a matter of error or authorial weakness. Confusion in language may enhance the atmosphere of confusion expressed in the setting of the poem (Russo 1994, 382). The grammatical oddity creates a particular understanding in the reader or listener. This, according to Russo, may be very purposeful. It may also be closely connected to an oral process of composition (Russo 1994, 384).
Editing of texts of this nature, then, may well wish to preserve the apparent infelicities, not making an attempt to normalize the text (Russo 1994, 385). Russo advocates allowing the literature to exist in writing in a way parallel to the way it may have emerged from its oral composition.