Good day for authors
Elizabeth R Evans
er.evans at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Aug 17 17:32:41 EDT 2005
. . .But the sheer mass of words the English language has (accumulated) e.g. in the field
"smile/grin/chuckle/sneer/guffaw/snicker/..." leaves me speechless :-)
A theory I have heard for this plethora of similes is that it all harks back to the tradition of medieval alliterative poetry, when you had to have a word with the right sounds to fit into the line, and consequently there are lots of words with the same meaning which can be called on to fit.
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