January 10, 2008 7:27 PM   Subscribe

The finished work of a favorite author annoys, resonants a certain word. Puissant at first, it puissantly overpowers sentences and paragraphs amazingly. Anyways.
posted by Mblue (24 comments total)
Michiko Kakutani is pleased that you have chosen to limn this important topic.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:32 PM on January 10, 2008

your post would be even more puissant if it said "resonates" instead of "resonants".
posted by bruce at 7:32 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

And you know what else? People need to get the hell over "the". It's just a definite article, people. It's nothing to write home about.

posted by cortex at 7:34 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

must ... not ... quote ... Monty Python ...
must ... not .... (aargh!) ... must ... not .......


"Well, how can we not SAY the word when you won't tell us what IT is?!?!?!"
posted by yhbc at 7:41 PM on January 10, 2008

When I was a kid I became highly annoyed by John Grisham's overuse of the word "devour" in The Firm. The way his characters ate*, you'd think Grisham locked them in a closet when they weren't on the page.

*the way they talked and acted suggested this as well
posted by Bookhouse at 7:42 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'v enjoyed several fine works by all-round clever dick author Peter Ackroyd including a life of Blake, a biography of St Thomas More, in Chaucer and his story of London, but he does have a very quirky vocabulary that can grate at times. I particularly recall his frequent (and correct) use of the word "suggestive" to mean something along the lines of "pregnant with implications." He must have been about the last writer in the world to be doing that, and you half felt he wanted to be sure you knew that too. It didn't help that you most commonly see it used to mean "saucy" or something either.
posted by Abiezer at 7:48 PM on January 10, 2008

Your assonant alliterations have been duly noted.

Also, you smell like a poet.
posted by loquacious at 8:08 PM on January 10, 2008

there is no "i" in "team". there's also no b, c, d or e...oh, wait...alternatively, there is if you spell it like i do, t-i-e-m. are you a team player? no, i'm a deadly prima donna chaos agent. we're having a teambuilding exercise on the ropes course today. i won't feel any closer to you at the end of the day, but i'd be happy to toss you off the tightrope into an alligator pit, and i want it on video so i can amuse my friends. geoffrey's team will be fine-tuning the rollout. who do i put a shoulder into and knock on his ass so that geoffrey won't get tackled behind the line of scrimmage again?
posted by bruce at 8:28 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I still say "basically" sometimes, and then want to smash my pinkie with a hammer. It's a time-filler, meaningless as "umm." But, "umm" sounds so much nicer.
posted by not_on_display at 8:49 PM on January 10, 2008

Calvin Trillin, a writer I much admire, uses the word 'that' far too often. Overuses it, in fact. (Anyways, other than that he is basically awesome.)
posted by LeLiLo at 8:50 PM on January 10, 2008

Frey orbits round, against the tide. That's basically......intentional.
posted by Mblue at 9:05 PM on January 10, 2008

Well, I guess I'll step up to the plate and pick some low hanging fruit. Maybe if everyone thought outside the box a little more, we wouldn't all be sounding like a bunch of media-hypnotized sheep. People wanting to sound cutting edge combined with them being too lazy to think for themselves means there are so many words and phrases that have outlived their fifteen minutes of fame. We are always stealing someone's playbook or worried about being on the same page.

...not to mention mixing metaphors. Anyway, it's hard to stop...
posted by blue shadows at 10:10 PM on January 10, 2008

'Suggestive' only means saucy to a) fruity academics and b) people who say 'climax' when they mean 'come'.

Anyway, on to writers and their overused words. Hemingway: and. Martin Amis: talent; inanition; sordor; suasion; pudeur; universal; tranced; stalled; prepotence; proximately; sequela; intima; reify.
posted by Mocata at 3:14 AM on January 11, 2008

I fear, dear Mocata, you have the misfortune not to be English if that is your reading. My commiserations. :p
posted by Abiezer at 4:43 AM on January 11, 2008

Alas no. I just wanted to make a joke about 'climax'. Though I was surprised that you thought 'suggestive' is obscure, I think of it mostly as a pompous alternative to 'telling' or whatever.
posted by Mocata at 5:14 AM on January 11, 2008

No, you're right, it's not really obscure; but somehow it does stick out (oo-er issus!) in the frequency and nature of its appearance Ackroyd's writing. Honest! Or maybe it is just my formerly more low-brow taste in reading showing.
posted by Abiezer at 5:32 AM on January 11, 2008

Alaskan Native Americans have forty words for snow, to denote its many states and textures.


Also, only the first of the links was really worth posting; the others are just bloggers saying "hey people say awesome too much amirite?" But I guess it's the dreaded "if I only post one link people will kill me" syndrome.
posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM on January 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

somehow it does stick out (oo-er issus!) in the frequency and nature of its appearance Ackroyd's writing. Honest!

I believe you. I sort of seem to remember that he uses words like that all the time in his book about London in order to suggest loopily mystical connections between things.
posted by Mocata at 6:19 AM on January 11, 2008

Don't snowjob us, languagehat. I've met Alaskan Native Americans, and they love nothing more than to loll about, stroking the snow and dissecting in a rhyming verse of synonymns the quality and character of each frozen patch they come to.

Alaskan Native Americans: absinthe-drinking weather poets of the tundra.
posted by cortex at 6:23 AM on January 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

Alaskan jobs have attitude. I've been to Anchorage and called a 48 prick. Alaskan jobs can fly and see north.
posted by Mblue at 11:16 AM on January 11, 2008

Alaskan Jobs are excited to announce the new 8GB iGloo.
posted by cortex at 11:46 AM on January 11, 2008

8GB iGloo.
Big SUV pulls. Slap , slap goes the chains.
posted by Mblue at 1:46 PM on January 11, 2008

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