Monday, December 27, 2010

Niggle, niggle, niggle

Port Mortuary, Dear Gentle Reader(s), by Patricia Cornwell, is another of her competent books.

There might be, however, a point over which to niggle.  Since this is the final week of a year of constant caviling, let the niggling begin:

Page 29 contains this “Thick clouds pass over the oblong moon…”

Got it?  Crescent moon, yes.  Perhaps dish of a moon, but oblong moon?

Usually an oblong figure is classified as a rectangle, isn’t it?

Even given that a second definition of oblong is elliptical, ellipses have to have a circular element, and the concavity of the crescent prevents that element.

So authors get bored and try new combinations.  That can be insightful.  It can also be detrimental to the flow of the narrative.

An “oblong” moon dams the flow.

Don’t be lazy, writer.

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