15,000 Useful Phrases
August 13, 2014 11:58 AM   Subscribe

accurate appraisement

accursed enemy

accusing glance

accustomed lucidity

aching desire

acknowledged authority

this is an entire love story.
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

This Project Gutenberg edition ends on a poignant note: [Pencilled into the flyleaf: "A navy blue feeling where my heart used to be"]
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

A quick key to Kleiser's organizational scheme:

SECTION I. USEFUL PHRASES: consists of adjective-noun pairs.
SECTION II. SIGNIFICANT PHRASES: two term parallelisms. (i.e. "noun and noun," "adjective and adjective")
SECTION III. FELICITOUS PHRASES: three term parallelisms.
SECTION IV. IMPRESSIVE PHRASES: four term parallelisms!

posted by Iridic at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2014

I find this list marvelously suggestive and inspiring.
posted by phunniemee at 12:09 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Now, in this age of computers, we can find out both where he lifted these phrases from and who willingly reused them in their work. Hopefully somebody can also rig together a kind of "phrasechecker" which alerts writers if they've used a phrase which was hackneyed even a hundred years ago.
posted by Thing at 12:12 PM on August 13, 2014

Sudden and inexplicable changes of mood

Suddenly and imperatively summoned

Suddenly swelled to unprecedented magnitude

Sufficient to repel vulgar curiosity

Who knew they had Viagra back then?
posted by yoink at 12:15 PM on August 13, 2014

"Ejaculatory prayer" and "Crucifying irony" are the best. We break my copy out when we've been drinking sometimes. Always hilarious, and not least because the book doesn't know it's at a party. We got a band name from the book one time.
posted by Archibald Edmund Binns at 12:15 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

This must be where they got the dialog for Deadwood.
posted by snofoam at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

And here are the gestures you should make while saying them.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

"blatant discourse" leapt out at me. Is there something shameful about 'discourse' that it needs to be called-out when it's 'blatant'?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2014

"HOW TO ARGUE AND WIN Ninety-nine men in a hundred know how to argue to one who can argue and win. This book tells how to acquire this power. Cloth, 320 pages, $1.50, net; by mail, $1.65"

I shall find this book and read it and I then I shall win all the threads on MetaFilter.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:34 PM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh hey I forgot to mention the 16 hour audiobook version.
posted by Iridic at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Iridic, I love that that exists.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:08 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

this is an entire love story.

OMG it's 50 Shades of 15,000 Phrases.

"Abhorred thraldom. Abiding romance. Abject submission."

"Affably accommodating affected indifference. Affectionate approval. Affianced lady."

"Ambrosial essence. Amiable solicitude. Amicable arrangement! Amorous youth."

"Arrogant imposition. Artful adaptation, artificial suavity. Artistic elegance, artless candor. Ascending supremacy. Ascetic devotion."

"Assiduously cultivated assimilative power. Assumed humiliation assuredly enshrined."

"Avowed intention. Awakened curiosity. Awed devotion, awful dejection. Awkward dilemma."

And those are just the stories that begin with A. They're easy to find! "Gushing enthusiasm. Gusty clamor. Guttural incoherence. Gymnastic agility!"
posted by compartment at 1:31 PM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Wow, this is right up my alley. Thanks for posting!
posted by obvious at 1:33 PM on August 13, 2014

One of my favorites:

"clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk"

partly because it sticks out so much from its setting
posted by Twang at 4:56 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just searched. No "nattering nabobs of negativism"?
posted by benito.strauss at 5:37 PM on August 13, 2014

I used to own this book! I gave it to a writer friend who I was thinking might actually use it!
posted by tarantula at 8:49 PM on August 13, 2014

I wish I'd had that book when I was younger, because my sisters and I would have found it mighty handy when our mother banned 'talking backwards' and/or 'on the wrong speed',
which she was apt to do on rainy days when she couldn't simply usher us outdoors.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:45 PM on August 13, 2014

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