July 8, 2007

"I promise this is on topic, so please bear with me. . . . One day, as a cure for a broken heart..."

That's the first line of the NYT Magazine's "On Language" column, broken off at the exact point when I realized they must have a guest writer subbing for William Safire.

A good column, by Jaimie Epstein, about the travails of looking for love on line when you're a language buff and you have to get to know people from their writing:
But just imagine what it’s like to be afflicted with an excess language-sensitivity gene. I mean, how would you feel if someone extolled your “skillful verbage”? Maybe he liked the way I threw my verbs around, but my nose picked up a whiff of “garbage.” And what about the onomatopoeticist who enjoyed the “slurshing sound of the waves”? “Slurshing” made me think “drink sloppily and quickly,” and combined with the motion of the water, the effect of his words was to produce welling seasickness, not the soothing rock and roll of the ocean crashing and uncrashing with romantic abandon along the shore of a secluded beach that he must have been aiming for.

Uh-oh, I just ended a sentence with a preposition!...

Hmmm... well, I would have sniffed at the phrase "my nose picked."

1 comment:

PatCA said...

What an enjoinable article!

BTW has anyone seen Matchmaker on A&E? It's adorable.