Dive in, splash around, skim and dip and spout about the latest quotations, metaphors, words and, of course, triologisms. You’ll feel better for it!

Write and gripe

Write and gripe

I like letter writers who gripe about the responses (or lack of) from correspondents.  Pliny is the arch whinger when he doesn't think his friends...

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A quote to note

Drawing on thousands of sparkling, moving and inspiring quotations amassed during decades of attentive reading. To delight your mind and spirit and improve your presentations beyond belief.

In praise of clannish cattle

In praise of clannish cattle

A charming tribute to cows by a man better known for being a sheep farmer. I had forgotten how much I love cattle - their clannish ways, their...

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Tell them

Tell them

This fellow farmer may have encouraged James Rebanks to write his clear-eyed, concise and moving account of the changes witnessed and experienced as...

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The study of vanished things

The study of vanished things

I recall my sorrow when I learned that the enchantingly named Nonsuch Palace vanished almost without trace, morphing from a splendid Tudor dream of...

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Belief in the past

Belief in the past

A thoughtful and original definition of regret, with Bowen considering that it affirms the ability to believe in something, if only in a backwards...

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Metaphorically speaking

More marvelous metaphors on Mondays … Monday, metaphor day.

Of rumours

Of rumours

A superb simile to describe the velocity and trajectory of rumours, a watery version of 'spreading like wild-fire'.  In the age of social media...

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One day it will happen

One day it will happen

Not only did I like this simile for peace, it also seems apt to feature it following VE Day, which was meant to herald peace, particularly as today...

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Two views of the future

Two views of the future

A curious metaphor to describe two scenarios for the future, conveying the extent to which we can't predict anything.  With war raging in Ukraine,...

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Easy laughter

Easy laughter

A merry simile for an easy laugh, though I never thought of woodpeckers as laughing. See another avian reference to laughter, by the same author.......

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Triologisms

Bringing you pithy, evocative imagery in the form of three-legged microcosms of meaning. Updated on Tuesdays … Tuesday, triologism day!  You’ll never see this day of the week in the same way again.

Perfect teeth

Perfect teeth

Something simply pearl-fect about these teeth, and a neat simile to describe the darting in and out of an endlessly worked toothpick. ... the...

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Sea-raddled limestone

Sea-raddled limestone

Unusual word and usage, 'raddled', and particularly as a simile for hard, grey, hole-riddled bread. God protect one's teeth. Some went on nibbling...

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A fine wine

A fine wine

What a wonderful scene, a simple lunch washed down with a local wine the colour of molten amber, and intriguingly, 'pumice-bedded'.  Savour another...

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Sea-drenched wind

Sea-drenched wind

I re-discover this triologism as we emerge from days of rain-drenched wind, waking up to a lush-verdant garden and landscape.   I also like the...

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Parrot-bright shrillness

Parrot-bright shrillness

A lovely mix of visual and aural, with the shrillness of light and colour also evoking a parrot's cry.  We landed in the usual parrot-bright...

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Marrow-meltingly sweet

Marrow-meltingly sweet

Wish you as many doses of such sweetness as you need.  And what a stark contrast to another marrow-related triologism, from Jane Eyre. How sweet it...

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Words

Sharing words that sparkle, appeal, intrigue or otherwise grab me, including in other languages. And adoring alliteration, words are added on Wednesdays… Wednesday, word day. See you back here then.

A deceit, a descent and a parliament

A deceit, a descent and a parliament

As you may know, I have a soft spot for imaginative collective nouns, and although I'd come across 'parliament' for owls, and love the whooshing...

Lauzengier

Lauzengier

Lauzengier (also 'lauzenger') appears in the songs of French troubadours.  An old Occitan word but surely one which it may be timely to pluck from...

Gulch it down

Gulch it down

Mervyn Peake uses Rabelaisian vocabulary to describe the gargantuan appetites and appearance of Swelter, the castle cook in his Gormenghast trilogy....

Mummarella

Mummarella

You would know the 'true' octopus if you saw it, wouldn't you? Reading a book about Mediterranean seafood, Luiz learned that according to an...

Ullage of sunflower

Ullage of sunflower

Something about this word that you can roll around the mouth like a good swig of wine or cognac, the removal of which would result in its ullage in...

Cragfast

Cragfast

Stuck?  In a tight corner?  No going forward ... or back?  Call yourself Cragfast. A sheep cornered on a crag, to starve in the absence of rescue....

I find it moving that no literary text is utterly original, no literary text is completely unique, that it stems from previous texts, built on quotations and misquotations, on the vocabularies fashioned by others and transformed through imagination and use.  Writers must find consolation in the fact that there is no very first story and no last one.  Our literature reaches further back than the beginnings of our memory permits us, and further into the future than our imagination allows us to conceive, but that must be the only barrier.  

Source: Alberto Manguel, The City of Words, CBC Massey Lecture Series (Toronto: Anansi Press, 2007), p. 139

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