#1  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:40 AM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 40,814
"Atlas Chuckled"

I’ve just listened to the audio version of Atlas Shrugged, available from Audible (52 hours, 20 minutes, 28 seconds). Something caught my ear that I hadn’t noticed in the print version: the word “chuckle” (noun or verb) was used 127 times in the book. The word “shrug” was used merely 49 times.
  #2  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:17 AM
Alessan's Avatar
Alessan Alessan is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 23,776
Makes sense. Expressing strong emotion is a sign of weakness; a chuckle is as close as Randian ubermenschen are allowed to get to a real laugh.
  #3  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:29 AM
running coach's Avatar
running coach running coach is offline
Arms of Steel, Leg of Jello
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 35,912
How many times is "sneer" used?
  #4  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:19 AM
Tim R. Mortiss's Avatar
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 6,909
Every author seems to have their favorite words. In John Norman's "Gor" novels, nobody ever "looks" at anything. They "regard" it.
  #5  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:59 AM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,951
There's also the "thesaurus on their lap" author, wherein each paragraph uses a different synonym. A few paragraphs of "Shades of Grey" got me to notice -- oh, yeah, heh, I wrote like that in college too.
  #6  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:31 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 16,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
How many times is "sneer" used?
Or "astonished"?
__________________
If a man says something but no woman is around to hear it, is he still stupid?
  #7  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:45 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,544
For another author it was 'gibbous' and 'batrachian', among others.
  #8  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:55 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 29,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
For another author it was 'gibbous' and 'batrachian', among others.
All the better to display his coruscating wit.
  #9  
Old 01-14-2019, 03:56 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 4,526
I've never read Rand at length, but I understand "gaunt" may be a favorite of hers as well.
__________________
"I'm scared, sir." --Lieutenant George St Barleigh

"How much easier life would be if people asked outright and took no for an answer." --Annie Xmas
  #10  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:00 PM
typoink typoink is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,609
Lovecraft's use of "squamous" always sticks out like a sore thumb to me; it's a word never heard outside either a Lovecraft story or a bad visit to an oncologist.
  #11  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:12 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Middle ear
Posts: 6,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I’ve just listened to the audio version of Atlas Shrugged, available from Audible (52 hours, 20 minutes, 28 seconds).
Why would you do that to yourself?

I mean, even my father thinks Atlas Shrugged is one of the worst books ever written, and he agrees with her viewpoints.
  #12  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:00 PM
Tinker Grey Tinker Grey is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Greenville, Texas
Posts: 610
Thomas Covenant: Nobody needs stuff; they have exigencies.
  #13  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:14 PM
Alessan's Avatar
Alessan Alessan is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 23,776
There's an SF book I read about 25 years ago - I think it was by Margaret Weiss - the name of which I can't remember, but which I still think of as the Grimly Book. I swear to Og, the word appeared on every single page. It was... grim.
  #14  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:26 PM
Patch Patch is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: In my house
Posts: 1,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I’ve just listened to the audio version of Atlas Shrugged, available from Audible (52 hours, 20 minutes, 28 seconds). Something caught my ear that I hadn’t noticed in the print version: the word “chuckle” (noun or verb) was used 127 times in the book. The word “shrug” was used merely 49 times.
I recommend the 8-9 hour long abridged edition narrated by Edward Hermann. Much shorter, and he does a good job. He also did an abridged version of The Fountainhead.
  #15  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:09 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Middle ear
Posts: 6,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker Grey View Post
Thomas Covenant: Nobody needs stuff; they have exigencies.
Plus, everything is "eldritch" and/or "puissant". Everything.
  #16  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:27 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,412
China Miéville uses the word pinioned way too often, but it reached a height in (IIRC) Perdido Street Station. I swear that book contained more instances of the word than every other text I've read combined.
  #17  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:33 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd Sherrerd is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,953
"Atlas Chuckled" .....so that's what causes earthquakes.
  #18  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:54 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Middle ear
Posts: 6,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
China Miéville uses the word pinioned way too often, but it reached a height in (IIRC) Perdido Street Station. I swear that book contained more instances of the word than every other text I've read combined.
Well it did have a birdman with missing wings as a major plot point...
  #19  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:08 PM
snoe snoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Well it did have a birdman with missing wings as a major plot point...
And a mad scientist investigating how various species of flying things are able to fly, and a non-flying humanoid species where the females have winged beetles for heads, and generally lots of beings with lots of weird appendages trying to control one another’s actions, physically or otherwise ... can you blame the author for leaning a bit heavily on “pinion” and its siblings?

(I need to give Perdido Street Station another read. I’ll check for pinions. )
  #20  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:19 PM
Johnny Bravo's Avatar
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Swamp
Posts: 7,583
I actually find this to be the greatest weakness of audiobooks: overused words reaaaally jump out at you after a while.
  #21  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:22 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
There's an SF book I read about 25 years ago - I think it was by Margaret Weiss - the name of which I can't remember, but which I still think of as the Grimly Book. I swear to Og, the word appeared on every single page. It was... grim.
Was it one of the books in the Death Gate Cycle?
  #22  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:44 PM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 40,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
Makes sense. Expressing strong emotion is a sign of weakness; a chuckle is as close as Randian ubermenschen are allowed to get to a real laugh.
Actually, I think the book contains more laughs than chuckles, but it's chuckles that stand out more when heard.
  #23  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:02 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 18,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I’ve just listened to the audio version of Atlas Shrugged, available from Audible (52 hours, 20 minutes, 28 seconds). Something caught my ear that I hadn’t noticed in the print version: the word “chuckle” (noun or verb) was used 127 times in the book. The word “shrug” was used merely 49 times.
There is a reason that Rand was never shortlisted for the Booker Prize or Nobel Lit, and it had nothing to do with what a hypocritical raging asshole she was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by typoink View Post
Lovecraft's use of "squamous" always sticks out like a sore thumb to me; it's a word never heard outside either a Lovecraft story or a bad visit to an oncologist.
The only other author I know who used that word (outside of Lovecraft imitators), and Douglas Adams was writing for comedic effect when using it.

Stranger
  #24  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:24 PM
Morgyn Morgyn is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 5,286
Most of Ludlum's characters spend their time shrieking or screaming at each other. They never seem to just say something.

(Despite that somewhat annoying verbal tic, I enjoy his books and own most of them.)
  #25  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:34 PM
Asuka Asuka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 965
Having read a few Randall Munroe books (XKCD creator) that dude loves the "joke" where he says something obvious then appends [Citation Needed] to it, for example "Humans need to eat to live [Citation Needed]". I swear he uses that joke on literally every single page of one of his books. I understand his books are just his various blog posts collected into a single work but he also likes to use that joke multiple times in the safe paragraph.

Last edited by Asuka; 01-14-2019 at 10:34 PM.
  #26  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:01 PM
Tinker Grey Tinker Grey is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Greenville, Texas
Posts: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Plus, everything is "eldritch" and/or "puissant". Everything.
'zactly. (Or, are you being mordant?)

Last edited by Tinker Grey; 01-14-2019 at 11:02 PM.
  #27  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:07 PM
Rick Kitchen's Avatar
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Citrus Heights, CA, USA
Posts: 16,213
I can't imagine listening to Atlas Shrugged. You'd have to do a lot of fast forwarding to get through the boooring ass radio address.
  #28  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:35 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 21,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker Grey View Post
Thomas Covenant: Nobody needs stuff; they have exigencies.
See also: this 2014 thread.
  #29  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:57 PM
Tinker Grey Tinker Grey is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Greenville, Texas
Posts: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
See also: this 2014 thread.
This guy got it right: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...8&postcount=84

When I was in middle school I thought this was great. I was learning a lot. As an adult, I learned it was bad writing.
  #30  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:40 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 16,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
There is a reason that Rand was never shortlisted for the Booker Prize or Nobel Lit, and it had nothing to do with what a hypocritical raging asshole she was.
In what way was she hypocritical?
__________________
If a man says something but no woman is around to hear it, is he still stupid?
  #31  
Old 01-15-2019, 01:45 AM
Alessan's Avatar
Alessan Alessan is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 23,776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
Was it one of the books in the Death Gate Cycle?
It might apply to them too, but I think it was the fourth book in the Star of the Guardians trilogy.
  #32  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:17 AM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Posts: 4,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
In what way was she hypocritical?
The usual cited example is that, while raging against any and all forms of socialism throughout her life, she relied on social security benefits in her later years.

I'm sure there are others.
  #33  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:48 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 30,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker Grey View Post
Thomas Covenant: Nobody needs stuff; they have exigencies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Plus, everything is "eldritch" and/or "puissant". Everything.
Or “preternatural.”

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 01-15-2019 at 11:51 AM.
  #34  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:54 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 29,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
Having read a few Randall Munroe books (XKCD creator) that dude loves the "joke" where he says something obvious then appends [Citation Needed] to it, for example "Humans need to eat to live [Citation Needed]". I swear he uses that joke on literally every single page of one of his books. I understand his books are just his various blog posts collected into a single work but he also likes to use that joke multiple times in the safe paragraph.
It was sort of funny back when he had novel different sorts of things called "citation" he could link to, but I think that well's run dry.
  #35  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:09 PM
XT's Avatar
XT XT is offline
Agnatheist
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Great South West
Posts: 34,283
Just finished re-listening to the Armageddon Reef series and everyone is always chuckling as well. When I read the series originally, or even listened to it later I didn't pick up on it, but when you listen to the books one to the next it becomes noticeable. When I saw this thread it was the first thing I thought of...everyone is always chuckling.
__________________
-XT

That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!
  #36  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:38 PM
Santelia Santelia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: East Somerset
Posts: 79
I'm amazed Sherlock holmes ever gets anything done for all the ejaculating he does
See, now I've used done and does in the same sentence, better change one of them to accompli..ah screw it
  #37  
Old 01-15-2019, 06:07 PM
Tinker Grey Tinker Grey is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Greenville, Texas
Posts: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santelia View Post
I'm amazed Sherlock holmes ever gets anything done for all the ejaculating he does
See, now I've used done and does in the same sentence, better change one of them to accompli..ah screw it
Or any Zane Grey characters.
  #38  
Old 01-15-2019, 06:44 PM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 40,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
I can't imagine listening to Atlas Shrugged. You'd have to do a lot of fast forwarding to get through the boooring ass radio address.
There wasn't one chuckle in that entire speech!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
The usual cited example is that, while raging against any and all forms of socialism throughout her life, she relied on social security benefits in her later years.
Actually, it was Alan Greenspan who pointed out that she had paid many millions of dollars in taxes over the years, and she was entitled to get some of it back.
  #39  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:14 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santelia View Post
I'm amazed Sherlock holmes ever gets anything done for all the ejaculating he does
See, now I've used done and does in the same sentence, better change one of them to accompli..ah screw it
The show QI had an episode that included exploring instances of Holmes and Watson ejaculating. I forget which one once ejaculated from a window.
  #40  
Old 01-16-2019, 02:53 AM
Elmore Elmore is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
China Miéville uses the word pinioned way too often, but it reached a height in (IIRC) Perdido Street Station. I swear that book contained more instances of the word than every other text I've read combined.
And pugnacious. Guy loves pugnacious. Tbf if you ever see a picture of the guy you can see why

Edit: Pic of China Mieville

Last edited by Elmore; 01-16-2019 at 02:58 AM.
  #41  
Old 01-16-2019, 07:42 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Or “preternatural.”
Dean R. Koontz?
  #42  
Old 01-16-2019, 07:52 AM
mbh mbh is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 4,279
Robert Heinlein's "So?" drove me nuts, until I figured out the speech pattern he was rendering. If he had just used a comma instead of a question mark, I would never have noticed it.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017