Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cantabrigian, Sep 5, 2013.
That's an odd metric by which to judge someone's prose.
Not for a Frenchman, in that country "well-written" often translates "incomprehensible."
There's a difference between writing well and swallowing a thesaurus and vomiting its contents onto the page. P G Wodehouse didn't normally use 'big words', but try writing like him.
Or, more politely, what Ivar said.
I probably overvalue rich and distinct vocabulary. English compactness already simplifies its written form to a point where conciseness is an easily attainable goal.
Apropos of RJ's articles, I recall a comment by Alfred Hitchcock on his producer, David O. Selznick.
Selznick, the producer of "Gone with the Wind", was known for his lengthy and detailed memos to his directors and writers. In fact, his biography was entitled "Memo from David O. Selznick."
In an interview many years after working together, Hitchcock said that he once received a memo from David O. Selznick. Hitchcock said that he was still reading it.
I'm willing to bet it won't win any awards but I can't really think of a blog on any topic that's better written.
I don't read many blogs though so I'm happy to be proven wrong.
Rich and distinct is not the same as arcane. If you don't think the phrase "opportunistic buggery" (to quote RJM's most recent post) is rich and distinct, I can't help you. If what you really value is a writer who makes his readers play go fetch in the dictionary, then you share the taste of undergraduates and academics, who rank among the most ridiculed members of society precisely because they speak with the intention to impress or confuse, rather than enlighten and entertain. To use Paul Krugman's phrase when describing Newt Gingrich, they sound like what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like. Obscure words are to "intellectuals" what exclamation points are to teens: they are the magician's patter meant to hide the secret that there is actually nothing of value being said.
Go back and read Shakespeare. Or better yet, just remember his most famous lines. He rarely used long words composed of many Latin roots. But his vocabulary was rich and distinct. I think Shakespeare would have been proud of "opportunistic buggery" had it crossed his mind.
Writing well is not a contest to use as many fancy words as you can. It's an attempt to create vivid images in the mind of your reader, to convey a story or information in a way that's clear and memorable. Stop learning SAT words nobody cares about. Learn the gradations in meaning between "annoy" "fluster" "nag" "bother" "gall" and "irk" and you might be on your way to writing something worth reading.
That really is a lovely piece. - I don't know what deserves greater admiration, his erudition or his wit.
That Réginald-Jérôme guy is an international treasure.
I too found the lure often Russian calf and had cleverly make a eyeglass case.
Please explain your reference.
Actually, I don't know "gall". Thank you.
And going for a caricature isn't always the best way to make your point.
Separate names with a comma.