Not an unfamiliar noun.

The word sloth is used liberally in Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale.

What do sloths do? How about they move around slowly?  I have never met a sloth, other than human sloths, and never on a track team.

Constance speaks of the prose kind, of which she offers several examples. All of which writers are to stay away from.

Here’s her sloth definition: “Grabbing the closest shopworn words without as much a glimmer of guilt, or hastily (how can a sloth do hastily?) creating inelegant nouns out of other nouns, or even verbs.” Parenthesis comment is mine.

“Don’t create clunkers like disintermediation.” What does it mean? It means don’t add “ization” to any words unless you want to be in the Mafia.

And furthermore, “Don’t use cliche-trite phrases as in ‘its raining cats and dogs.'”

Or “level playing field, new challenges, at a crossroads, bottom line.”

All distract, all slow down the reader, sloths breed sloths. Like rabbits. Oops.


5 thoughts on “Sloths

  1. Carole Webber December 11, 2013 / 8:08 am

    In other words, be original ?

  2. Carole Webber December 11, 2013 / 10:56 am

    I also see the sloth metaphor as an excuse for procrastination.

    • fictionfitz December 11, 2013 / 3:44 pm

      Easy, easy. Go easy.

    • fictionfitz December 12, 2013 / 5:58 am

      The E word can be a tough one to follow.

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