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Bewick bull

I was looking through my drawers the other day for rhetorical devices, hoping to find a good solid auxesis, and getting mildly annoyed – no, very angry, nay, blimmin’ furious because I couldn’t find one. All I could find was a useless old diacope, and that was all I could find. I wasn’t best pleased that my litotes had gone missing either. It was enough to drive me to bdelygemia, so empty, sorry, forlorn and useless was this drawer. Where are all the rhetorical devices when you need them?

Well, they’re here courtesy of professional grammar boffin, Richard Nordquist. For analysis of texts, for practising your own rhetoric, or just for impressing your teacher with your knowledge of Greek, it is a very useful resource (Periodic sentence, that, with some boosting at the end). Some are more useful than others, but then again, as Morrisey said, some girls’ brothers are bigger than other girls’ brothers.

Last time I did a links post, I linked to the excellent ‘Banned List’, blogger and journalist John Rentoul’s guide to the corporate jargon and empty buzzwords you should avoid like cheap processed beef. Some smart Alecs have taken the idea of a programme that highlights and ‘buzzcuts’ words from the Banned List from any piece of text that you paste onto their website. It’s specifically designed with press releases in mind, but you know how catchy those ‘Banned Words’ are – are you absolutely sure you haven’t used them in your writing?

The final link is a shameless piece of self promotion. However, it may be interesting for those of you who are interested in poetry.It is written for the common reader (as Virginia Woolf would say, but without the scorn) rather than the expert. Called ‘Sweettenorbull’ after the opening line of the Northumbrian poet Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts, it covers one to three poems a week, with some light-hearted – yet illuminating – commentary from me, or, occasionally, a guest blogger. 

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