Author Topic: Writing, in Fashion  (Read 5954 times)

Offline 2par

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Writing, in Fashion
« on: September 01, 2013, 01:59:51 AM »
This is from my friend, who is a screenwriter:


"I was cleaning out a bunch of junk from my house and came across some old issues of The New Yorker. Was about to dump them when I decided to open one from September 2003. There were some fabulous articles in this issue, including a piece on fashion by JUDITH THURMAN titled The Divine Marquise, about Liuisa Casati, a Milanese aristocrat born in 1881 and died penniless, having gone through a huge family fortune, in 1957. Here's what grabbed me -- Thurman's writing. Holy crap! Just look at this description:

 'The Marchesa was exceptionally tall and cadaverous, with a head shaped like a dagger and a little, feral face that was swamped by incandescent eyes. She brightened their pupils with belladonna and blackened their contours with kohl or India ink, gluing a two inch fringe of false lashes and strips of black velvet to the lids. Her cheekbones were vertiginous, her nose aquiline, her mouth a lurid gash. She powdered her skin a fungal white and dyed her hair to resemble a corona of flames. This alarming mask, as Cocteau observed, gave men the illusion that the woman who wore it had willfully ravaged a great beauty--a beauty she didn't, in fact, possess.'   Man. That sings to me."
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 02:01:51 AM by 2par »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2013, 02:08:26 AM »
Maybe -- but how many people would have the vocabulary to be able to understand it all. ::) Shame isn't it?

Offline 2par

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 02:21:43 AM »
I was wondering the same thing. I guess it would only belong in Literary fiction...or the New Yorker.

You know, my father never made it past the 10th grade, and his first language was Italian, but he read to and from work on the bus and bought all the old books libraries put up for sale. He even found books in other people's garbage. And he had a fabulous vocabulary. I was always surprised at how well he spoke and thought, because he was the most humble person I've ever known.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 02:24:29 AM by 2par »

Offline Chord

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2013, 02:32:14 AM »
My daughter, aged 5, was wandering round the other day saying 'Satellite, satellite, satellite' over and over, enunciating it really clearly. When I asked her why, she said, 'the word tastes all sparkly in my mouth.' I've got hope for the kids. ;)
With a fat friend there is no such thing as a see-saw, only catapults.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2013, 02:37:22 AM »
-- 'the word tastes all sparkly in my mouth.' --

That's just too cute.  ;D I love it.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 02:39:22 AM »
I know, I think it's shocking how limited people's vocabulary is. They all panic about making sure they have the latest street slang and everyone is supposed to understand it even though it is a different language with its own nuance of meaning beyond the words per se, they seem to be used purely in context of experience and can change depending on where you might be or the company you are in. That's all valid, but how about making it a reciprocal arrangement?

And as for dumbing down stuff . . . .aaarrrrgh! There's the internet at your fingertips -- it'll read words for you, pronounce them correctly, show you a picture . . . . ::)

So many beautiful words have been lost because folk don't want to sound as if they're being pretentious, but if it's a word you like, why can't you use it if people know what it means . . . because, guess what, there's no point otherwise. Sure, don't turn into a jargon junkie and alienate people. Street speak and geek speak both do it yet it is applauded for being so very 'now'. I'm going to stay old-fashioned and enjoy words -- lots of different ones, even some that are hard to say or remember how to spell! I love the sound and the feel of so many of them I'm greedy.

Allegedly in schools we aim to enrich and extend our pupils' vocabulary -- bloody joke. >:(

Offline Chord

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 02:55:21 AM »
You know it's easy to blame the schools but teachers are so constrained by having to work to a set, standard curriculum that it's impossible for them to truly educate. It has to come down to what the parents pass on to their kids.

A few days ago, I was reading and Amy (the 5 yr old) said, 'Mummy says you've always got your nose stuck in a book.'

I shook my head, "Nope, she's wrong. My nose isn't stuck in a book, it's stuck into another world."

She thought about it and walked off. A day or so later my wife said to Amy, who was reading, 'You're just like your dad, nose always stuck in a book.'  I heard Amy mutter as wifey walked away, "I'm exploring other worlds, mum."

Job done.
With a fat friend there is no such thing as a see-saw, only catapults.

Offline 2par

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 03:09:31 AM »
Siobahn, I'm going to save your words. So succinct.

Chord, I love the influence you have on your little one. And the "sparkly satellite"
In an old movie about Cinderella, with Leslie Carol and Michael Wilding, the fairy Godmother is played by Estelle Winwood, a wonderful British actress. She goes about in the film pronouncing different words all the time. She loves words..."Windowsill" haha.

Offline Chord

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 03:11:46 AM »
Amy has just started school full time, her fave word is 'Schooliform' (school uniform). ;)
With a fat friend there is no such thing as a see-saw, only catapults.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 03:25:09 AM »
I also get ticked off when people say keep it simple (too many people have misunderstood what the lesson is) -- why say sapphire/turquoise/navy/etc. when you could say blue?  Because 'generic blue' doesn't accurately describe the colour [hey, a precise noun . . . isn't that supposed to be good] I want my reader to see. >:(

A house is different to a mansion/apartment/shack/flat/castle -- and a million other types of dwelling/residence/home/habitat -- depends what you need for that picture.

Choose the right word which, okay, would be most readily understood for the intended meaning you wish to convey. ::) It doesn't have to be the dumbest, just the best. ;)

went  walked? ran? strolled? stomped? sprinted? dashed? darted? . . . drove? rode? abseiled? paraglided? skated?  ::)

Offline 2par

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2013, 03:48:08 AM »
"paraglided"???  ;D ;D ;D

English is a pretty precise language. Many other languages aren't. They have one word and expect you to understand the meaning.

French, for example, must be very difficult for advances in equality between the sexes. Every word is either male or female and there is no "it" in the language.

Chord, Amy must be a joy  to live with. I remember when my John was her age. He went to Kindergarten in the afternoons. One morning, he fell off his trike and got a bump or two. His lip was swollen. He fussed and fussed over that lip and I told him it'd be just fine by the time he went to school. Well, later he got ready and rushed out the house and hardly had I breathed a sigh of relief that he was back. He ran over to the chrome strip on the side of the wall oven and used it for a mirror to examine his lip. He said, "I just had to reflect myself once more before I go." His first grade teacher laughingly told us, "No child his age should have his vocabulary."
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 03:52:56 AM by 2par »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 03:53:28 AM »
 ;D

It's hardly going to be paraglid . . . is it? ;D

Offline 2par

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2013, 03:55:18 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Offline bri h

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 06:41:44 AM »
In this current thread of the things the little-uns say, I've got a few for you.

Katherine (#2) aged five, after sitting for a while in that kneeling/sitting position all kids with bendy-like legs adopt, (on their little bums with legs bent backwards), stood up and said "my legs feel fizzy."

Jennifer (#1) same age, after suffering a bout of flu, I asked her how she was feeling? She replied, "I've got sloppy poos and funny pumps."

Years later at age 8 or 9. A boy down the street had taken a shine to Jen, (the attraction was only one-way though) He was a forthright little kid from a family with a name for all kinds of trouble. He said to her, "I'll call for you tomorrow and walk you to school." Jen came home and burst into tears. "Mam. Mam. He's gonna call for me tomorrow, do I have to walk with him? Can you not tell him I'm ill and won't be going to school (which was a lot to her, She cried whenever appointments with Doctor's or Dentists meant she stayed off, She absolutely adored school)? I asked her, "Do you like David?" She replied that she thought he was ok, but she liked walking with her circle of friends (there were about 6 of them) I told her. "Jen, no one can ever make you do something you don't want to. But you have to tell him no!" She did. He was charming about it and said "Huh! Are you a lesbo?" (at 9! I ask you?) But no-one ever made Jen do something she didn't want to after that. I gave her her power at age 8 or 9. Of course, at this stage in her life (26) that assertiveness comes in my direction too. heh heh.
Lastly, My ex and I were showing the kids what happens when you touch the end of a battery with your tongue and the tingle you get. We told them about the small charge of electricity and how anything wet or moist would generate a charge. Kath (5)thought for a moment and then said, "Moist? Like your 'fairy?' (meaning her vajazzle to the un-uk-ers). We quickly changed the subject and they went out to play with their click-clacks (fashion shoes) and we both collapsed on the floor. heh heh Kids? I love em. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Writing, in Fashion
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 06:56:38 AM »
It's hardly going to be paraglid . . . is it? ;D

Or paraglode ;-)  After all, we don't say someone rided a horse.  I love our language.

=====

The Marchhesa sounds like a monster, but I could instantly picture her.  That was some rich and quite precise writing.

=====

Kids and language:  I've told it before and will doubtless tell it again.

We had the Health Visitor at our house one day and Allison, two years old, was running back and forth between kitchen and living room, chattering away playing a game with two groups of dolls.  (This was a child who talked in her sleep because there wasn't enough time in the day for all the words she wanted to say.)

"She has an excellent vocabulary for her age."  The Health Visitor commented.

Allison stopped dead in her tracks, swung back around the door, and grinned proudly at her.

"I do know rather a lot of words, don't I?"  Then she was back into her game.

It's not every day you see someone's jaw truly drop.

"How?" she asked eventually.

"We just talk to her.  She soaks up words like a sponge."

"But she knew what vocabulary meant."

"We explain things when she asks."

I will admit there were times when we thought we'd spawned a monster, but...

Allison now talks to her new baby, convinced that children learn sounds and speech patterns long before it makes complete sense.  There's some basic sign language going into the mix as well which Allison used with deaf kids at the nursery.  Alma makes the 'milk' sign when she wants feeding.  But she still falls back on a good traditional cry if her mum's a bit slow on the uptake ;-)

Gyppo

  
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