Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The written word

In 1830, Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote these words as the beginning of a novel titled Paul Clifford:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

That lengthy sentence has become synonymous with bad writing. "It was a dark and stormy night" is a recognized phrase to many even if the book's title and author are unknown.

Most of us who blog enjoy the written word. Why else would we be here? I am here because I have more to say than what my family is capable (willing?) of hearing. Photobucket

Whether thought provoking prose or a fun limerick, I love to read. Incomplete sentences are ok. Sometimes making one's point is improved in ways that would make my strictest English turn over in her grave. Sorry Miss Fleming. Really.

If you are thankful for good writing, you need to visit a friend of mine. Her name is Kelli and her blog is Counting My Blessings. Read her often. You won't be disappointed. Just remember that she was my friend first. Try to claim otherwise and I will fill your email inbox with the likes of "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

I could probably write wretchedly worse if challenged, so beware! 1sm146scribe Pictures, Images and Photos

4 comments:

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I never understood WHY that sentence struck so many as "bad writing." I guess the London setting? Because out here in the far West, many nights are NOT dark -- you can read by the moon and since there is not even a tree, nothing obscures the light -- and when I lived on an island waaay up by Canada, it would stay light outside until midnight!!!

Blondie's Journal said...

Maybe a bad sentence (and I am great for that), but it really is descriptive. Perhaps that's why it was copied so much.

I love 'The written word', and that is why I started to blog also, hence my blog title. My English isn't so great though so I hope you have a lot of patience.

I am going to visit your friend...always love a good blog recommendation.

BTW, your library list...I have been wanting to start reading the Debbie Macomber series, how do you like it? I want to start at the beginning but time is so short lately...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Knitty! :-)

xoxo
Janie

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

What a fun post!!! Thanks so much for your recent visit...I've now come to visit you and have signed as follower! Always great to meet another Michigander! I see you like recipes. You might enjoy my Charming Vintage Recipe blog? (charmsofdays.blogspot.com)! Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! Coralie

Kelli said...

Oh Knitty, you bring tears to my eyes! Happy tears though. :) What a sweet friend you are. I'm having so much fun with my blog and I've gotten a few emails and PMs on Facebook letting me know that others are enjoying it, too. However this is the first public recommendation I've gotten! You're a peach. :) Thank you, dear friend!