Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Never The Twain

Another blog writes "To paraphrase Mark Twain, the only thing better than having NATO peace-keepers in south Lebanon would be not to have them..."

Sorry, but that's paraphrasing Oscar Wilde.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not exactly say it is paraphrasing either - the blogger is borrowing a concept and applying it to a different situation while I thought paraphrasisng was trying to explain an author's concept in words not his/her own, usually in fewer and less elegant words---maybe "echoing" is a better word in this example.

i.e.--To echo Mark Twain, reports of Israel having obtained security through this action have been greatly exaggerated.

6:55 AM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger LAGuy said...

They're the ones who decided to use the word "paraphrase," not me. They use it in the modern sense of taking the original quotation and changing it a bit to fit a new situation.

I might add that "echo" generally means to repeat or imitate, but like "paraphrase," its meaning has widened through the years.

Perhaps they should have written "parody" or even a neologism like "semi-quote."

The quotation they are paraphrasing is Wilde's "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." It is particularly famous because it was quoted (actually, paraphrased in a form closer to what they write) in a Monty Python sketch.

10:58 AM, July 26, 2006  

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