Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen

Posted by: Jan Morrill

www.janmorrill.wordpress.com

I love finding a new word–a unique word that I can roll over my tongue, maybe even blog about. Like this one:

pleonasm:

\PLEE-uh-naz-uhm\, noun;

1) The use of more words than are necessary to express an idea.
2) A superfluous word or expression

Synonyms: copiousness, garrulity, loquaciousness, verbosity

Isn’t that a perfect word for a writer? So much nicer sounding than purple prose. Though I’ve wilted at accusations of purple prose, I can almost say I wouldn’t mind being accused of purple pleonasm.

What is purple prose, or its more sophisticated cousin, purple pleonasm? Wikipedia defines it as:

… a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing…

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2 Responses to

  1. Mendy Knott says:

    Great post on a common problem among writers. Leigh always says if you want to use and abstract word or phrase, you have to buy it with great verbs and sensory images. And it takes a lot of the last to buy one of the former. That’s the way it is with purple prose. If I didn’t have Leigh to edit, I’d be bleeding purple all over the place.

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