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Friday, February 22, 2013

Twain

Twain, who said "when you catch an adjective, kill it," could not do without them either for more than a sentence. Here are his adjectives and adverbs:
So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be. I was getting sort of used to the widow's ways, too, and they warn't so raspy on me. Living in a house and sleeping in a bed pulled on me pretty tight mostly, but before the cold weather I used to slide out and sleep in the woods sometimes, and so that was a rest to me. I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little bit. The widow said I was coming along slow but sure, and doing very satisfactory. She said she warn't ashamed of me.

2 comments:

undine said...

That's true, but look at some of those adjectives--"raspy." I'd settle for making an impression like that.

Jonathan said...

There's no "but" about it. Twain was a good writer. He didn't take any special effort to avoid adjectives, and he used them well. The adjectives are actually doing a lot of the heavy lifting hear.