Friday, December 30, 2011

Visual, Evocative Words to Emphasize Something: Some Inspiring Examples From a Discussion on the Legendary John Brown

Just watched a month-old PBS interview with Tony Horwitz, author of a recent book (“Midnight Rising”) about the legendary John Brown’s famous raid seeking to end slavery. Extremely impressed--and stirred--by Mr. Horwitz’s extraordinary verbal expression. Here are some examples:

-- (pointing out that other abolitionists believed in “education and moral uplift” as the way to defeat slavery): “Brown derided this as milk-and-water abolitionism, weak and ineffectual”

-- “he had this charisma, this moral magnetism that got people to give money and guns to his cause”

-- “this rough-hewn frontier warrior had an intoxicating effect on genteel parlor radicals of the North”

-- (question: “was he crazy, was he a madman?”) “He was certainly obsessive, he had this ‘Ahab quality’ about him…also very grandiose in his dreams.”

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

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