I realized recently that I was reading but not remembering a whole hell of a lot. My internal summation of “Madame Bovary” boiled down a single sentence and the image of someone eating a lot of poison. While that’s certainly efficient in terms of storage it certainly seems to miss the point. In an attempt to augment my tattered recollections I started taking handwritten notes in true luddite fashion. My notes hit the high points as I read through things and I’ll read through the notes and extract the high points from those. It’s the ultimate in compactification! (or compaction or compression if you prefer to be ‘correct’… pfft…)
Since I started halfway through Emma Courtney I didn’t make note of the plot (not to worry, it’s a simple Plot 1g: Woman meets man, woman likes man, man can’t marry woman because his uncle’s will forbids it, woman marries other man, woman still wants first man.) I did make note of a few cool quotes and words I found amusing. Aren’t you lucky to get them all without even having read the book?
splenetic – Basically, this just means spiteful but it’s handy as it might make people think you admire their spleen if you use it on them.
“The ideas, associations and circumstances of each man are properly his own and it is a pernicious system that would lead us to require all men, however different their circumstances to act by a precise general rule.” – William Godwin as quoted by Hayes.
captious – I DO so admire efficient words and this is one of them. A captious person is one who tends to stress the faults of a person or idea and constantly raise objections and argue. Much more evocative than the commonly used relative ‘nitpicker’.
specious – Another example of a highly efficient adjective, a specious argument is one that has an outward appearance of truth but is really just a load of crap, similar to sophistry.
gallimaufy – yet another of the many words for a hodgepodge.