Friday, January 15, 2010

how has "erudite" become "crudity"

       Many year ago, there was a summer theater north of Worthington, called Playhouse on the Green. Professional actors came from New York, for the summer, and performed a different show, every two weeks, using local amateurs in small roles. Only Bob Greene was too talented for walk-on parts.  The director, Paul Pruneau, saw that, immediately, and soon was  giving him the lead.

      Those were wonderful summer nights, driving on country roads, to rehearsals. And, between rehearsals, going over lines with him in the backyard, the children already asleep.

       And what does that have to do with erudition and crudeness?  Well, it does. Because one night, Bob and Phil had a conversation about using "swear " words on the stage.  Clark Gable had just shocked the movie world by telling Scarlett O'Hara "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. "When," Bob asked, "would the F word ever be tolerated by the public?"

     We know, now, how soon it happened, how prevalent it is. It is probably the most used adjective in our culture. Culture, I use the word begrudgingly.

     I confess that I have used it myself, not often, and not to the public in general. And certainly not to describe something good!

     From this not-so-staid old lady, I am sending you a list of very effective adjectives.  Use them judiciously and be surprised at how impressive you can be.

     Here they are, straight from my Thesaurus: wonderful, wondrous, remarkable, extraordinary, superb, amazing, phenomenal, flabbergasting...

      Oh hell, go to your own dictionaries.

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