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A finisher of sentences

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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (1 of 7), Read 128 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 1998 11:14 AM

Pete Saussy, of Columbia, South Carolina, writes: "Because I am an amateur lexicographer, I was asked many (18) years ago for a word that names a person who finishes your sentences for you, other the obvious expletive. I have queried and searched to no avail. Help!"

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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (2 of 7), Read 118 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, December 17, 1998 03:44 PM

This is indeed a tough nut to crack, Pete; but perhaps we can come up with something apropos by pounding on it a bit. A person who does this could be interposing, interjecting or even interpolating. S/he is probably a Type A Personality and/or a poor listener (or a spouse). Perhaps the starter brings the situation to bear by pausing or leaving thoughts incomplete -- there is a rhetorical figure for this, aposiopesis.

Or, as Robert Bly suggests:

IT'S HARD FOR SOME MEN TO FINISH
SENTENCES

Sometimes a man can't say
What he . . . A wind comes
And his doors don't rattle. Rain
Comes and his hair is dry.

There's a lot to keep inside
And a lot to . . . Sometimes shame
Means we. . . Children are cruel,
He's six and his hands. . .

Even Hamlet kept passing
The king praying
And the king said,
"There was something. . . ."


Anyway, we should think about this some more.




Eureka!! I have the perfect word....

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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (3 of 7), Read 106 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Saturday, December 19, 1998 11:04 AM

This week there were several strong contenders for the Word Fugitives Bureau of Investigation Special Agent award. (You know who you are!) But ultimately it was this mock Robert Bly poem that I found most ... amazing. The proper conclusion to this deliberately incomplete poetic opus, I think, is the awarding of the week's prize to Michael Fischer.

Mike,
In recognition of the invaluable service to this conference you have performed, as evidenced by your poem "It's Hard for Some Men to Finish Sentences," I hereby name you the Word Fugitives Bureau of Investigation Special Agent of the Week.

Not only are you to be honored; you are to be rewarded. A member of the Atlantic Unbound staff will soon be in touch, to ask you to choose your prize from among the, um, generous array of choices that will be offered you. (Don't worry -- they're free!) Please accept my best wishes and the best wishes of Atlantic Unbound.

Hearty congratulations! Well done! Huzzah!



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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (4 of 7), Read 104 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, December 19, 1998 03:58 PM

"But ultimately it was this mock Robert Bly poem that I found most ... amazing. The proper conclusion to this deliberately incomplete poetic opus, I think, is the awarding of the week's prize to Michael Fischer."

Barbara,

Thank you very much for your kind words and your mock award; I am all too undeserving... or not. As to the mock Robert Bly poem, I hasten to point out that it seems to be an *actual* Robert Bly poem. Perhaps the problem is that Bly has become a mockery of himself. In any event, I also found the poem to be most....
8-)

best regards,
Michael

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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (5 of 7), Read 99 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Sunday, December 20, 1998 01:34 PM

Michael,

The award, such as it is, is real. But the poem -- it's real too? If you're just kidding, would you please say so now?

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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (6 of 7), Read 102 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Sunday, December 20, 1998 05:13 PM

On 12/20/98 1:34:00 PM, Barbara Wallraff wrote:
>Michael,
>
>The award, such as it is, is
>real. But the poem -- it's
>real too? If you're just
>kidding, would you please say
>so now?

http://www.wnet.org/archive/lol/bly.html

(the "lol" in the link evidently relates to Bill Moyer's "Language of Life" PBS series;
any tie to "laughing out loud" should be considered serendipitous! : )



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Topic: 10) A finisher of sentences (7 of 7), Read 70 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jeffrey Mazur (isaicorp@ix.netcom.com)
Date: Saturday, December 26, 1998 07:49 PM

May I suggest (just winging it here - how much time SHOULD one devote to pursuits such as this, after all :)

"lexterminator"?

Merry Christmas to all!

J.


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