What in the Word?

One of the many books I’m reading at the moment is What in the Word? by Charles Harrington Elster. He’s a prescriptive-grammar-lover and wrote a book filled with questions from people over which words to use when and what the difference is between “incidences” and “incidents”, for example. He also filled the book with amusing lists and quotes. One of the lists is called “Intoxicated English”, listing, of course, a lot of words describing drunkenness. Some of these are priceless!  Imagine yourself using these…

amiably incandescent, fed his kitty, full as a state-school hat rack, got his snowsuit on and heading north, halfway to Concord, has taken Hippocrates’ Grand Elixir, iced to the eyebrows, ishkimmisk, laughing at the carpet, lit up like Broadway, loaded to the Plimsoll mark, making a trip to Baltimore, put to bed with a shovel, rockaputzered, seeing a flock of moons, shellacked the goldfish bowl and watching the ant races

It gets even better when you imagine drunk people using these themselves: how would Hippocrate’s Grand Elixir sound if slurred?


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