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February 18, 2007

Less is More

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Periphrasis (pleonasm): A rhetorical figure involving elevated language, redundancy, or circumlocution; alternatively, speaking or writing that is unintentionally and unnecessarily wordy and roundabout. When used intentionally, perophrasis provides emphasis or creates comic effect" (337).

Of course, the definition goes on to explain further, but I figured this was sufficient to get the idea across. I would have to say I think there are probably a lot of students who occasionally write this way (intentionally in the sense that they want to sound S'mart" but unintentionally in terms of the effect it actually has in writing) because they want to take up more space and have more words and they may also just want their writing to sound intelligent and impress their professors by using big words. But, as suggested here, that is usually not a good thing and it is unnecessary. Besides, it would probably end up backfiring because it makes the writer sound unauthentic. The writing sounds forced and unauthentic. I know that sometimes I do use way too many words to get my point across in my writing as well.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 18, 2007 10:08 PM


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