Spotting things

Anita Graham amgraham at
Tue Sep 21 23:38:15 EDT 1999

> >As _Whose Body?_ was Dorothy Sayers' first and she wrote it literally
> >to survive, I think she wasn't up to subtle wossnames yet. But you
> >never know... When I next read her Letters from that period <fx:
> >woman disappearing behind stack of unread books, unfinished work,
> >children and cats> I'll pay attention to any hints of wossnames.
> Er, forgive my ignorance, but what is a wossname?  Did I miss a
> postthat explained the term or something?
> --

I think you'll find its a newly-coined term (coined just few posts back -
but very useful, nontheless) to indicate a subtlety that the author includes
but never explicitly references.

So, if you read "Whose Body" (haven't read it for many a long year and have
no idea of the plot anymore) the author allows the murderer to explain "what
happened", but he never refers to the mistake that caught him out. A careful
thoughtful reader will see for themselves that he has left out a key point,
but Sayers never says so.

(Is that right?)

In the "Deep Secret" example, DWJ never explains why the birds are pecking
at the children but a reader who has read the Lykewake dirge will realise
that this is "prophesied" or ordained in the dirge as the fate of those
who've never given away their clothes.

(is that right?)

Anita (just recapping this very interesting discussion...and resolving to
become a more careful reader)

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