Elements Of Eloquence

Review of a new book on English style that champions rhetorical elegance over plain words. “The shiniest piece of information I picked up is that, in English, adjectives go in this order: Opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose-noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac” (Metered Paywall) (720 words)

There Are Many Ways To Shear A Pig

Glorious fugue provoked by Vladimir Putin’s verdict on the Edward Snowden affair — “It’s like shearing a pig; plenty of squealing but not much wool”. If international affairs are to be conducted in proverbs, world leaders should stock up on gnomic statements. “The fire is never without heat. A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder. There’s no sun without shadow. Acorns were good till they found bread. Ah, yes, how true” (900 words)

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