eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
I've been rereading the first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Whose Body. (I do a lot of rereading during the semester, because I can reread over several days and in five-minute increments without losing track of the plot. The number of times I have thus read Men at Arms and Gaudy Night does not bear thinking about.)

Anyway, in this reading, I came across a marvelous paragraph in the denouement. Lord Peter is visiting the man he now knows to be the killer, but he is pretending to be there for another reason, and the killer is pretending not to know he's in danger (while simultaneously trying to kill Our Hero). Lord Peter just reached out and prevented the villain from carrying out what was probably an attempt on Peter's life:
The silence was like a shock. The blue eyes did not waver; they burned down steadily upon the heavy weight lids below them. Then these slowly lifted; the grey eyes met the blue -- coldly, steadily -- and held them.

When lovers embrace, there seems no sound in the world but their own breathing. So the two men breathed face to face.
Isn't that awesome, guys? I love it kinda a lot.

idiolect

Apr. 7th, 2006 02:27 pm
eruthros: Kate Winslet smiling at the camera (KW promo pic pink)
So I once again caught myself saying "thank you kindly" to the fellow at the Green Line Cafe. Verbal Tics Learned From Television apparently stick around; I mean, I'm not Southern, so I have no excuse at all for this. (Then again, when I was a kid I somehow developed a substitution problem, "briefly" for "shortly" -- I would say "I'll be there briefly" and mean "in a minute" -- so perhaps I shouldn't blame my adverb abuse solely on due South. I worked very hard to expunge that usage of briefly from my vocabulary, but it still happens sometimes.)

Also, I refuse to use either past participle of "to get." Because I ... just don't get it. This is one of those absorbed grammar lessons that just completely fails to take when you read both American and British English as a kid. He's got? He's gotten? Okay, sure, you can tell me that in American English the first means "he possesses" and the second means "he acquired," and that in British English the first means "he possesses" and the second doesn't exist, but frankly a sentence like "they've gotten the check" freaks me out. Except in idiomatic usage that has to take "to get" (like "got married," and even then I'll avoid the probably correct "they've gotten married"), "gotten" doesn't exist in my dialect and "got" appears rarely. Sad but true.

Also, I find myself pondering the usage of "woman" as an adjective. Remember that scene in Gaudy Night, in which Harriet Vane writes a stern letter to a newspaper saying something like "woman students would be seemlier than undergraduettes?" I hit the same usage in one of the first Amanda Cross mystery, c. 1968: Kate Fansler talks about the sudden interest in "woman writers." We certainly still talk about women who write, but I don't think that the phrase "woman writers" would be as likely as "female writers." Is this just my dialect? Or is "woman" as a collective adjective out of fashion? (A quick google picks up several pages, though the text on most of them actually says "women writers." Google informs me that there are 38,000 pages using "wome/an writers" and 232,000 using "female writers.")

Also, I have decided to start using the word "eesome" in casual conversation.

Profile

eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829 3031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:56 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios