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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life — Tristram Shandy (146 comments)

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  •  Hi Diana, it's always nice to see you :~) (3+ / 0-)
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    poco, Susan from 29, mikidee

    I guess I didn't explain Hobby-Horse well enough.

    I'd call what you're talking about a pet peeve. I have too many of those myself, including yours. People often confuse imply & infer, and misuse "irony".

    I also agree about dialogue, or internal monologue. Joyce's The Dead begins, "Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet."; but Joyce uses that to tell us what Lily is literally thinking. And here we are, a century later, with that same misuse rife.

    I tend to think of pet peeves as itches - things that make our lives less pleasant. Now I guess, in a way, being persnickety about correct English is a Hobby-Horse unto itself, an obsession that gives a certain pleasure. That's key to the Hobby-Horse: it's something the rider enjoys. So, Uncle Toby turns everything he can into discussions of sieges and warfare. But he so enjoys his Hobby-Horse, that a plan to build models of cities, and re-enact Marlborough's sieges of them, rouses him from his sick-bed, and gives him a new lease on life.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:11:16 AM PST

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