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Letter from Emmanuella
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
14 May 2015
You know those drinking games some folks play? Like you watch a political speech and every time the speaker says a certain key word you down a glass of beer or a shot of whiskey or something?
I started giggling while trying to write the Cinderella review today, thinking that you could get drunk if you read a bunch of my reviews and took a swig every time I use the word "delightful."
So many of the shows are...well...delightful that I am hard pressed to find a different way of saying it and I'm boring even myself. I have visions of readers grabbing one of my reviews and seeing how far they have to read into it before I use the "d" word. The production is delightful, so-and-so's performance is delightful, the little kids are delightful. I can use the "d" word 3 or 4 times in one review, if I'm not careful.
Many, many years ago, my friend Stephen Peithman told me about a book that has become one of my bibles.
For anybody who writes, especially advertising copy (which a review isn't, of course, but it's the same principle), this is a gold mine of different ways of saying the same thing. It promises to be "the thesaurus to help you promote your products, services, and ideas."
I stick with the "Key Word Index," which gives me (almost) every possible word I might want to find a substitute for. Words like "affluent, affordable, alluring, amazing, appealing, aristocratic,' etc down to "Zesty." Find the word you want to substitute and the index takes you to a page (or 2 or 3) with possible suggestions for other ways to say what you're trying to say.
Check out "delightful" and it directs you to a page titled "Pleasure/Satisfaction" and offers suggestions such as "Imagine the fun you'll have," "the time of your life," "your passport to...," "entertains while it...," "hits the spot," "great family fun." Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Instead of "delightful" this time I went with "This is a production that will entertain all generations in the family."
There are times I don't know what I'd do without this book!
After I finished writing the review, I went off for my monthly trip to Costco. I usually need to go to Costco for several reasons (a) we have run out of dog treats (that's usually the #1 reason), (b) I'm out of butter (it's $2.50/lb at Costco and nearly $5 at the local supermarket), (c) we need a new box of puddle pads for Polly, and (d) I have nothing left in the freezer to cook for dinner.
Today, I needed to shop for everything. Bought two boxes of puddle pads, 2 boxes of dog treats (that's $50 just for dog stuff), 8 lbs of butter (Yeah--I know, I know), 8 lbs of ground beef wrapped in little "chub" packages, and a big lasagne that would do double duty -- dinner tonight and reheated tomorrow so I don't have to cook after working at Logos.
Trips to Costco are the one time that I don't
feel guilty about spending lots of money. Heading back to the car with
my cart heaped high with items that will get me through the next month, I
could only rate the time I had just had at the Big Box Store as ....
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