Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 36


a rhythmic device. It’s the gallop we all know from the William Tell Overture, where the stress comes on the third syllable. Ta-ta-dum, ta-ta-dum, ta-ta-dum-dum-dum. It spices things up when things get dreary and too grammatical. It’s effective in getting the reader’s attention at the beginning of sections. ie. Flat = In the apple tree’s shade, she ate a peach tart. Spicy = She sat in the shade of the old apple tree eating her peacherine tart. Most anapests can be formed by transforming a possessive into the more rhythmic “of the.” “Peacherine,” is not any word in my or your dictionary. Writers must be prepared to invent new words that have meaning outside the dictionary. A peacherine tart is a wonderful thing to behold and eat, I’ll tell you.

Edward C. Patterson

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