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About

"Random musings"

New words and phrases...

weltschmerz : (VELT-shmerts) noun

World weariness; pessimism, apathy, or sadness felt at the difference
between physical reality and the ideal state.

The Elegant Variation:
"Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

When I was much younger, I used to work hard on my writing. I realise now that what I strove towards then was "The Elegant Variation", but as fate would have it I gave up writing and took up Medicine(only to make a hash of med school).
Going on, The Elegant Variation(where I stumbled upon the term in the first place) is also author Mark Sarvas' weblog. If you have time on your hands and are generally curious here is a link to an excerpt from his novel. Strictly ok stuff.

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