Looking at Onomatopoeia and Metaphor, Simile, Collective Nouns, and my Delusional Dictionary. For definitions of those, click here to read the introductory post to the series.
This week’s words: Clap, Like ice, Covey, Conservative.
Onomatopoeia: Clap – the sound made by palms brought together quickly, usually as a way of expressing pleasure/approval for a performance.
We know that an audience will clap at the end of a performance deserving praise. But can we use something equally onomatopoeic but less clichéd? ‘As the final curtain raised to expose the whole cast, the auditorium boomed with cheers, calls of “bravo”, “encore” and the deafening storm of unanimous palms smacking out their appreciation.’
Simile: Like ice – We’re all familiar with the description of the ghoul embracing the fated heroine in the horror story with hands as cold as ice. But this has long been a cliché. There must be better similes we can use, surely? We’re trying to associate the chill of bloodless hands with the death they may be about to confer on the person being touched. Or, we may be describing the fate of the fortune hunter who, having married for money, discovers that their wealthy, but aged, partner has cold hands that make those required intimate embraces torture rather than pleasure.
‘Clive had to employ the full power of his imagination, coupled with his extensive experience as a lover of young women, to achieve the state needed to fulfil his marital obligations to his wrinkled and ancient wife. But the touch of her fingers, cold as a glacial stream, instantly rendered him impotent.’
‘Blackness engulfed her as she ran from the sanctuary of the living room into the haunting silence of the hallway. There, Clara wrapped her torso in her own arms as protection against attack. But it came abruptly from the dark, as cords, cold as Arctic hawsers circled her throat in a grip of slow inevitable death.’
And similes to avoid because they’re clichés?
as cold as ice
Collective Nouns: Covey – describes a group of gamebirds, but can be used also of partygoers, and (usually) young women bent on fun.
covey of grouse, partridges, pheasants (on the ground), ptarmigans, quail, and woodcock.
Delusional Dictionary: Conservative: someone with fixed ideas, unwilling ever to consider anything new; a member of a group determined to uphold values of no real value to society as a whole; a right-wing person incapable of understanding a different point of view.
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