Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Tour de Forceps"

It's neat how typos can turn platitudes into something rich and strange. This one, from the comments on an old Krugman post, was very eye-catching; on closer inspection I don't think it's actually a typo, just a half-assed metaphor, but it could have been one:
I must assume that if, in his alter ego of O’Reilly-like rightnews he condemns your book so completely, it must be another of your tour de forceps with which you draw out the truth from the maelstrom of fact and fiction through the medium of your liberal conscience.


zbs said...

So the intention alone changes it from rich and strange to half-assed?

Zed said...

Indirectly, yes, because it makes him run with a metaphor that should have been left alone.

zbs said...


It would have been nicer if it had just stopped there.

I think I will put it away for the future, though it is a little precious as a deliberate construction.

Preciousness never stopped me before though so.

Zed said...

Somewhat precious I agree. Still possible to use well. The commenter's problem was that the forceps are really quite beside the point in this context. I'd guess they began as they should have ended, as a typo.