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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
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Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
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Lawrence LaRiviere White
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Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Lexigraphical Lament about Probationer Prosody

Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 02/26/06 at 10:43 PM

[By popular (i.e. Ray’s) request: some Acephalous for the Valve.  I tend not to post my sillier productions here, but if you’re interested . . .]

All scribes utilize lexicons.  Roget’s regnant tome monopolizes the matriculant market.  Neophytes congregate in monograph outlets to procure a reprint.  They disembark at their domicile and allocate Peter Roget’s linguistical treatise a bearing on a transversal above their desktop computer.  There it hunkers until a pedagogue implores them to formulate a polemic.  Then the prentice wordsmith extracts it.  The pupil employs it to ameliorate his pedestrian prose.  With hubris he asseverates the eminence of his phraseological aptitude:

"My profiency with palaver is unparalleled.  Scrutinize my incomparable prose if you don’t accredit me!"

The ensuing evening his educator ensconces himself at his trestle to assess his august pupil’s critique.   After he appraises it he thrusts his extremities on his coutenance.  He again cognizes that graduands should not be sanctioned to retain Roget’s opus because proprietorship of aforementioned reprehensible receptacle of lexical surrogates elicits maximal keening from all preceptors. 

"Why!" the mentor declaims at his articulatory apex.  "Why must charges importune their prose with exorbitant diction?"


You have a future in Asia writing manuals.

By John Emerson on 02/27/06 at 07:36 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Your memorandum is compelling, but does not incarcerate the dilemma I have had, in that all your lexis are quite ample synonyms, not in the vicinity of deteriorating to batter the aim. I have not, moreover, had this setback in a whereas, perhaps as I am grounding less grand persons studying these days.

By Lawrence LaRiviere White on 02/27/06 at 02:56 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Confession: I’ve never gotten lucky with a thesaurus. Not even Roget’s. Maybe I’m too connotation-and-sound-centric. But when I know the word’s not quite right, or I can’t reach the word at all, the thesaurus never got me there.

What’s been most useful is the OED or (more recently) a web search. The quotations sometimes trip the tip of my tongue into resolution, and sometimes just convince the tip of my tongue that it’s wrong and should start over.

By Ray Davis on 03/01/06 at 09:39 AM | Permanent link to this comment

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