October 25, 2006


That's write English

I love the English language (it's about all I've got). And the people of the mother-tongue land are quite loverly, as well. My anglophilia was pleasantly tweaked today by the always amusing Word O' The Day, which offered up this creative and hilarious sentence for the usage of crabwise (\KRAB-wyz\, adjective: 1. Sideways 2. In a cautiously indirect manner):

"Without taking his eyes from the road his left hand moved seamlessly from the old-fashioned gear stick to Sally's lap where, after a brief professional rummage, it moved crabwise on to me in the back seat."

-- Sue Arnold, "The difference between a grope and a caress", The Independent, October 4, 2003

Easy Quiz: If you didn't know The Independent was a London newspaper, how then would you surmise that this likely took place in Britain?

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Left hand on the gearshift doesn't happen on this side very often! That is a funny sentence.
Maybe I'm just weird, but it sounds like something out of a horror movie--I'm not convinced the hand is attached to an ARM! And it has EYES, too, ooh!

"he moved his left hand" would be my choice of wording for the non-horror romance...or whatever it is.
Hmm, I think you'd have to sub "its" for the first "his" or "the" for the second for that to work, Paula.

In the horror version perhaps it might continue:

After another quick round of 'where's the beef?' he declared, "Scuse the muff search, love. Mind if we have a look about the Bristols?"

The hand deftly moved north whilst he picked his eyes up off the road and motored on in search of fresh bum burglers.
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