I’m happy to announce that I’ve read my snob book for the year. This brilliant collection of essays had me hungering for the lunatic-fringe side of writing. Only an insane writer would carefully read and reread passages to discern the meaning and syntax of sentences. Forget about sentences! Let’s take a cakewalk down the etymology of weird words. The words chosen by the author were often obscure and pedantic, like peripatetic, parataxis and paratactically. Remember Mr. Ramsay going from P to Q in To the Lighthouse? I’ve gone there now too! This book made me quite mad and I don’t mean angry. I was vexed. On every page, I was forced to look up the meaning of multiple words. Then I did something awful. I made sure I owned those new words. I geeked-out for hours using my newfound, far flung snob lexicon to write sentences, sometimes awful, sometimes spectacular.
Suppose a Sentence by Brian Dillon