Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Googling Words And Phrases

"'...a Pournelle rapid-fire automatic...'" (The Man-Kzin Wars, p. 99)

I googled this phrase (see link) and found this phrase. I think this means that Poul Anderson has imagined a rifle named after Jerry Pournelle rather than there being a rifle named after Pournelle. Either way, a nice touch.

"...the glacier had gouged a deep, almost sheer-walled coulee..." (p. 100)

"The bottom was talus..." (ibid.)

"...wave patterns spreading from countless centers to form an ever-changing moire." (p. 109)

Sometimes a word is familiar but not its precise meaning. Sometimes even the word is unfamiliar. How can a writer wanting to imitate Poul Anderson acquire such a large vocabulary?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

To answer the question you asked at the end of this blog piece of yours: the only ways a writer, any writer, can acquire as rich a vocabulary as Poul Anderson's is by reading (including dictionaries) and using them in his own works.

The first time I came across words like "twaddle" was in OPERATION CHAOS, to name one example!