Saturday, December 31, 2005

One of those "as opposed to" heds

From the files, found this hed on a "Hints from Heloise" column:

Tiny little birds stir big fascination

Which, of course, prompts the question: As opposed to tiny "big" birds?

Best wishes to all for a Happy New(s) Year.


At 1/2/06, 2:25 PM, Anonymous Will Atkinson said...

This can be filed under the 'absolute words' debate. The writer and semantics enthusiast James J. Kilpatrick wrote in his book The Writer's Art that he has a list of words that cannot be qualified by 'very,' 'rather,' or 'a little bit.' These words include unique, imperative, universal, final, fatal, complete, virgin, dead, equal, eternal, total, unanimous, essential and indispensable.

At 1/2/06, 5:11 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Pregnant, of course, being another, if you think about it (even though people, referring to size, not the actual condition, will note that someone is very pregnant).

I know some people who would quibble about "virgin," but let's not go there ...


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