May you be spared all shrivelling. Why do words of similar sound have something mean-spirited in them: shrivelling, snivelling, grovelling, scrivening, slovenly?

‘On the walls inside the Palace, meanwhile, Duccio’s sombre Jeremiah and the shrivel-cheeked hermits and Doctors of Crivelli grown dim in their frames.’


Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts (London: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 296

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