Sunday, October 09, 2005

Books, Time Travel and Semantics

There's a semi-official book discussion going on at BitterSweetLife that might interest some of you. The primary question is, How does a book "stand the test of time" on its way to greatness? Readers are challenged to generate their own posts on the topic. Seeing as the VRP has been known to take on somewhat esoteric issues in the past, I couldn't resist mentioning the challenge here. From the original post:
After all, "the test of time" is a somewhat ambiguous phrase. Exactly what type of test is time dishing out, anyway? Is it a one-time event or an on-going phenomenon? Once a book has stood the test of time, can it later flunk out? What kind of book tends to survive? What qualities have that time-defying element?

Because the question is partly semantic in nature, I thought some of you might want to wade in and write a quick post. If you're interested, be sure to read the original piece and link up.


Blogger martin said...

Interestingly I can tie this to the earlier discussion of pronunciation, having at University asked someone "What's an oxymoron (pronouncing it like it's a skin treatment for stupidity)?" To be told 1. it's occ-ZIMMER-on, and 2. an internally paradoxical or inconsistent phrase: 'plastic china' (crockery)... most of the examples cited by grammar pages on the Net seem dubious to me (best I could see was 'deafening silence'), but it's a valid concept. If used intentionally, they can demonstrate an enjoyment of lively language; I am sure that there a re a lot on Chesterton, since he's so keen on paradoxes of all sorts.

8:06 AM  

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