Two more thoughts about big words
Posted by Barbara on October 12, 1997 at 17:15:18:
In response to Mere opinions, written by Kathy F. on October 12, 1997 at 13:30:12
I certainly see what you mean, Kathy!!! Those are excellent examples.
Several of us were discussing the novel in chat a few days ago, and we reached a consensus of sorts that although we all love the story (ie. the plot), we found the narrative to be "too wordy" at times.
Later I was thinking about his conversation and I remembered a scene from the movie Amadeus where some of the older court musicians or the emporer, commenting on one of his new operas, pronounced that it had "too many notes", to which Mozart replied, "Which ones would you suggest that I cut?"
But it can be carried too far of course. I spent a few years writing for a magazine which was somewhat notorious for overusing big, pretentious words. I could throw out the five-syllable words with the rest of them, but I found that it often made the articles incomprehensible. (A pleasant comment I received on a few occasions about my writing was that it was "easy to understand" by comparison). One of our editors was a particular offender. I shall never forget one sentence that sent many of us into convulsions of giggles: "He imbibed a preprandial libation with the pulchritudinous polyglut." (Translation: he had a before dinner cocktail with the pretty, multi-lingual woman.)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.