Fun_People Archive
5 Jan
Writing Exercise

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 96 02:19:50 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Writing Exercise

    Every few years I rediscover Strunk and White's delightful "Elements of  
Style" and once again find persuasive support for my irritation at supermarket  
signs that limit express lines to "10 items or less" and middle managers who  
insist on "gifting their secretaries with a momento that can also be utilized  
as a ..."

    This time I read the following reminder on style (from pp 76-77):
	14. Avoid fancy words
	   Avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy, and the cute.  Do
	not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center
	handy, ready and able.  Anglo-Saxon is a livelier tongue than Latin,
	so use Anglo-Saxon words.  In this, as in so many matters prtaining to
	style, one's ear must be one's guide: ...  Never call a stomach a
	tummy without good reason. ...

Here are a few other phrases that could probably be rewritten using more  
lively and direct word choices:

 1. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific.
 2. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.
 3. You should precede saltation with surveillance.
 4. lt is fruitless to become lacrimose over precipitately departed lacteal
 5. Freedom from incrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.
 6. The stylus, quill, or ballpoint is a more potent weapon than the general
    class of tools that includes the claymore. 

 7. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with
    innovative maneuvers.
 8. The temperature of the aqueous content of an unremittingly ogled saucepan
    does not reach 212 degrees F. 

 9. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not auric.
10. If gaseous products made visible by the presence of small particles of
    carbon exist, conflagration also exists. 

11. A surfeit of individuals with expertise in culinary techniques vitiate
    the potable concoction produced by steeping certain comestibles. 

12. Male cadavers are incapable of yielding anecdotal testimony.
13. Individuals who inhabit vitreous edifices would be well advised to
    refrain from catapulting petrous projectiles.
14. Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of
    hedonistic diversion renders John a hebetudinous young male.
lS. Neophyte's serendipitous fortune.
16. A revolving lithic conglomerate does not accumulate congeries of
    miniscule, verdant, bryophytic plants.
17. Whereas missiles of ligneous or petrous materials have the potential of
    fracturing my osseous structures, appellations will remain eternally
    innocuous where I am concerned.
18. Persons of imbecilic mentality eagerly frequent environs that cherubic
    entities only approach with treepidation.
19. Desist from enumerating your fowl prior to their emergence from the
    prenatal ovoid structure.
20. Prepubescent male humans will conduct themselves in a manner reminiscent
    of prepubescent male humans.

- Peter Langston

prev [=] prev © 1996 Peter Langston []