Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fiction Paragraph – Repetition

Probably still my favorite novel, this opening paragraph displaying repetition comes from “White Fang” by Jack London:

“Dark spruce forest frowned on either side of the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozenhearted Northland Wild.

London uses the word laughter or laughing five times in this paragraph which helps to develop the image of a wilderness not just cold and desolate but perhaps personified as cold-hearted and macabre as well; it is in a way “laughing” at you.

Editing Error

From an email received at work this past week:

“As I am sure many are aware, web browsing and other internet dependent task are going very slow.

This is yet again a good example for the need for correct spelling. When I first read this I was confused as to what the other “task” was. Only after reading the email again did I realize he meant “tasks” and was speaking generically. 

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