BITS & PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE: WORDS,WORDS, WORDS #3

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

I do not believe in words, no matter if strung together 
by the most skillful man; I believe in language, which 
is something beyond words, something which words give 
only an inadequate illusion of.  Words do not exist 
separately, except in the minds of scholars, 
etymologists, philologists, etc. Words divorced from 
language are dead things and yield no secrets. 
A man is revealed in his style, the language which 
he has created for himself.

Henry Miller. “Reflections on Writing” in The 
Creative Process, edited by Brewster Ghiselin 
(NY: A Mentor Book, 1955).
***

NOT EXACTLY ACCURATE ETYMOLOGY 

“Looking ‘spiffy,’ then, is quite a compliment, 
and one whom does is liable go be dressed ‘to beat 
the band,’ a turn-of-the-century expression that 
originated from the custom of  attacking with clubs
any symphony orchestra whose conductor smiled 
during Berlioz.

Woody Allen. “Slang origins” in The Insanity 
Defense: The Complete Prose of Woody Allen 
(New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007). 

**

CIRCUS SLANG: FIRST OF MAY

"Now a 'First-of-May' is what circus people call
a new trouper. The name comes from the fact that
all the shows except the ones wintering in the
Deep South or the warm states of the West begin
their touring season on or about that date.'

Emmett Kelly. Clown by Emmett Kelly with F.
Beverly Kelley (New York: Prentice Hall, 1954)
**





WHAT IS ANAPHORA?

As a rhetorical device, anaphora is the repetition of a word of phrase.

But the same word is used in grammar circles to describe AVOIDING repetition.

To avoid using the same proper name over and overt, you can use a pronoun,

such as he, she, it, or they, to avoid repetition.

AMORAL –Without morals

AMOREL – Without mushrooms

**

THE COMFORT OF WORDS IN A CHEKHOV SHORT STORY

 

***

GESUNDHEIT –The height of a sneeze

THE COMFORT OF WORDS IN A CHEKHOV SHORT STORY

” It seemed to her that she had been in the lumber business for ages,

that lumber was the most important, the most essential thing in

The world, and she something intimate and touching in the very sound

of such words as Beam, log, batten, plank, box board, lath, scathing, slab….

Anton Chekhov. “

The Daring” translated by Avrahm Yarmolindsky in The Portable Chekhov.

SPEECH & THE UNSPOKEN CLASS SYSTEM

"The line "What we've got here is failure to communicate" 
was voted as the number eleven movie quote by the American 
Film Institute. When Frank Pierson wrote that dialogue to 
be delivered by an uneducated, redneck prison guard, he 
worried that people wouldn't find it authentic. So he 
wrote a biography of the guard, explaining that in order 
to advance to a higher grade in the system, he had been 
required to take criminology courses, thus exposing him 
to the kind of academic vocabulary that would justify 
him using the "communicate" phrase. But as it turned out, 
no one questioned the line, nor needed to read the 
fictional account."

See ImbD "Cool Hand Luke" Trivia

**
THE DICTIONARY ON STAGE
 "I had a duet with Rose Marie, our comedienne 
titled "A Word a Day." We filled in each other's 
gaps by defining long-tailed words, with the aid 
of a dictionary. 
   Example:
           Rose Marie: "What's a proselyte?"
           Me (singing) "Has to give the madame most
                         of the dough."
   In the Philadelphia opening, that little song 
stopped the show."

    Phil Silvers on the show "Top Banana" in The
    Laugh's on Me: The Phil Silvers Story, with
    Robert Saffron (Englewood Cliffs,NJ: Prentice-
    Hall, 1973)
**       

LINGO 
In carny lingo 
the tunnel of love 
is a wet dark ride. 

Whatever love is 
that definition will do 
for a long long time. 

Louis Phillips 

6 thoughts on “BITS & PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE: WORDS,WORDS, WORDS #3

  1. “…something which words give
    only an inadequate illusion of. Words do not exist…”

    My colleagues in the English Department at OCCC would have rolled their eyes and taken points off for ending a sentence with a preposition.

    Like

    1. Great with my mourning coffee complaining amidst the persistent failure of sunlight to rescue us from the swamp grass both I and my Craftsman Walk Behind refuse to mow! Happy days to my new grandson Leonardo J.(9.17.21)

      Best for now~always!

      Jose Quarantino

      Like

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