February 07, 2011

For the love of words


I have always loved the art of language. I am fascinated by the impact made by subtle changes in word use, sentence structure, or careful grammatical manipulation. I’m not a master of the art form—but I do greatly enjoy dabbling in it as an aficionado.

For this reason, I collect phrases, paragraphs, and even whole stories or lectures when I find them particularly poignant or well-crafted. And yesterday I found another short passage to add to my collection. This one was written by one of my favorite authors—a favorite not because I like his genre, but because he is a master wordsmith.

She led her tired, slightly weepy sister down the short, steep flight of attic steps and below the worst of the heat. Then, instead of telling her that where there was life there was hope, or to let a smile be her umbrella, or that it was always darkest just before the dawn, ...she simply held her. Because sometimes only holding was best.... Sometimes it was best to just shut your everlasting mouth and hang on, hang on, hang on.

– Stephen King, Lisey’s Story, ©2006


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