Words, Sounds, Pictures

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Tue Nov 13 21:59:53 EST 2001

At 02:41 AM 11/13/01 +0000, you wrote:
>I don't propose to go into the whole argument, Robyn, but i'll try to
>give some of the flavour. GEC was using "The Turkey City
>Lexicon", basically a list of things to avoid in writing, ranging from
>issues of grammar (traps one can fall into) to style and taste. The
>criticisms are GEC's (providing I have remembered correctly) the
>conclusions are mine based on the discussion.

Thanks for that, Ven, it was enlightening. I have to say that I really 
really hate those lists of rules of what constitutes good writing because 
they always come down to flattening out everything interesting in a 
writer's expression. Insistence on accuracy in turns of phrase basically 
rules out any pun or other wordplay which might make the book amusing or 
memorable for its writing. I bet these rules would have chastised Wodehouse 
for his inappropriate use of vocabulary and "Clumsy, cliched or nonsensical 
phrases" like the classic "Jeeves was not precisely gruntled" quip.

I personally think that the "every fluid" phrase is a great way to get over 
the "show don't tell" rule, which I personally find is one of the first 
things I use to judge a writer. You know, instead of saying "Miles had a 
lot of medical procedures. He did not like having the medical procedures. 
He had spent a lot of time in hospitals since he had a medical condition 
from the time he was a 4-month fetus..."


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