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!

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.

One month or five years

One month or five years

Although I can't vouch for its accuracy, I liked this neat formula for deciding how long to spend getting to know a new country.  Not surprisingly,...

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Fine with wine

Fine with wine

Gideon is one of a group of lively friends of Durrell during a wonderful two year stretch when the Brits administered the island of Rhodes after the...

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Bad news down the toilet

Bad news down the toilet

A kindly act by a local girl helping Lawrence Durrell with his housekeeping during his idyllic two year stay on the island of Rhodes immediately...

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Metaphorically speaking

More marvelous metaphors on Mondays … Monday, metaphor day.

The mind’s cheap tunes

The mind’s cheap tunes

A sharp way to capture the Groundhog Day repetition of pointlessly churning regrets and anxieties: like a jingle you can't get out of your mind even...

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Cables like mating adders

Cables like mating adders

Serpents coiling around each other is Seethaler's way of describing inch-thick twining cables stretched across swathes of sky.'Cables twenty-five...

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Landscape like lace

Landscape like lace

A surprising description of the Mediterranean and its surrounding landscapes, resembling a collage of lace and sackcloth. 'For the Mediterranean is...

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Open to the climbing sun

Open to the climbing sun

A lovely image conveying the age-old human yearning to be closer to God or heaven or some other source: a flower opening to the sun as it climbs the...

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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.

Headache-inducing explosions

Headache-inducing explosions

Now you know why the Jesuits' stupendously lavish baroque churches needed all those gilded churrigueresque curlicues, to better serve a didactic...

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Soft-palmed servants

Soft-palmed servants

How to spot an aristo in disguise and on the run?  Check servants for implausibly soft hands.  Dead give away.  A superb summary of the topsy-turvy...

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Faux-Tamerlane backdrop

Faux-Tamerlane backdrop

A tribute to Budapest Zoo includes this description of the Elephants' House and the geographically incongruous background designed for it.  But I'm...

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Whey-faced neurasthenics

Whey-faced neurasthenics

Surely a candidate for a Triologism Trophy?  What a fun image, a perfect 19th century refined salon scene set in stark contrast to Winder's own home...

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Lavender-flavoured comfits

Lavender-flavoured comfits

Winder's witty and summary dismissal of the less interesting Haydn symphonies, cranked out for aristo-soirées. And isn't that a marvelous phrase:...

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Drizzle-washed hamlet

Drizzle-washed hamlet

Winder captures the moment when galleons, packed to the rafters with silver from the newly discovered and increasingly exploited south America,...

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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.

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....

Gummocks

Gummocks

This glorious word being no longer current, I invite you to revive it the next time someone does something daft or useless. Perhaps combine it...

A pippin but not an apple

A pippin but not an apple

I always knew the word pippin to be a type of apple, but then came across a reference to 'the expression of his pippin face'. According to the OED,...

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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