Spatchcock: my new favorite word. I loved the sound of it before I knew what it meant. Although I did know it was something you do to a turkey, and wondered whether it was obscene. Anyway, it means: to split open a bird for grilling. I still think it is a wonderful word, like “apple dumpling,” or “stipple.”
Once when I was painting the kitchen I fell in love with “stipple” and “spackle.” So I wrote a poem:
Oh, stipple and spackle the soffit
And let the linoleum lie (notice all the sonorous m’s and n’s, and the liquid l’s, in contrast to all those sputtering sounds linguists call “plosives.”)
You can spatter it, speckle it, spot it
‘Cause tomorrow a new one we’ll buy. (I can’t figure out how to make a final sentence that is both meaningful and beautiful).
Now “linoleum” is an interesting word: it has wonderful sounds. But it refers to something we don’t usually think of as beautiful. I’m reminded that a linguist once pointed out that while we all think this sentence sounds beautiful:
The murmuring of innumerable bees
if we change the sound ever so slightly, and the reference isn’t so beautiful, we don’t hear it as a beautiful sentence at all:
The murdering of innumerable beeves.
I know I should read my fiction aloud to hear how it sounds. But I never write less than 100k words. I could at least read the opening paragraphs aloud. Or try writing some more profound poetry. - SQ
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