Monday, September 30, 2013

a hilariously ironic blog post title

I was picked up and taken to task, and quite rightly, by my good friend Doug a short while back for using the phrase "achingly dull" twice in separate blog posts in relatively quick succession (actually on closer examination they were a little over two years apart, but I think Doug's point stands) to describe the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, gawd bless 'em. Not that I think it's an inaccurate description, as I'm sure that they are fantastically vacuous in person, despite the healthy glow of unearned privilege and the expensive orthodontics, but it behooves one to try not to repeat oneself, even when one's self-editing faculties are dulled by a raging throatful of republican bile.

Anyway, I was inspired to wonder what other blogversational tics I overuse, perhaps without realising it. A futile exercise pretty much by definition, you might say, since if you don't realise it, well, you won't realise it. And you may be right, but I think a capacity for sober, objective and unforgiving self-analysis is a quality to be admired and striven for. So in that vein I offer you the following: a catalogue of my overuse of the word "hilariously" during the lifetime of this blog. I find myself drawn to this word as it conveys a sort of sense of the jaw-dropping ridiculousness of much of the world and the people who inhabit it. But anyway, I probably overdo it, as is evidenced by the list that follows. Note that I've restricted myself to instances where the word "hilariously" qualifies an adjective in the classic adverb/adjective kind of way.

Of course, now I've done that, I will be unable to use the word ever again, except perhaps in an ironically self-referential kind of way. Conversely you might argue that once you start doing blog posts about word usage and frequency in your own blog posts you've already disappeared most of the way up your own arsehole anyway. I'm reminded of the novelist in David Lodge's Small World who was provided with a computer analysis of his own writing style and word usage and found himself unable to write ever again. We shall see.

Another way to monitor word usage is to use the excellent Wordle, which provides a graphical view of word frequency. Here's the word cloud for the current front page of this blog:

You can just paste a load of text in as well. No prizes for guessing which song lyric this cloud was derived from, but you can see how you could generate an interesting quiz out of it; just present the cloud and get people to name the song.


The Black Rabbit said...

Please don't for kerrreist's sake let my autistic finger-pointing act as any sort of catalyst to make you disappear up your own (blogging) yeeeeah-sole.

The Black Rabbit said...

Thanks also for the link back to your "have I got stews for you" post (in 2009).
I got to read your words below again and cover my computer monitor with a pint of ribena blown expertly through my nostrils.

For those that missed it in 2009...

"•a gibbering fat-tongued Aussie twat and a grinning baldy Cockney wanker shouting at the contestants and, slighty oddly, each other, especially in the series of clips they have in every show where they tell each other how important the whole thing is: "THIS is where things REALLY GET SERIOUS", "they've got to REALLY WANT IT NOW", etc., etc. These are always set up the same way, with the two talking heads never in the same shot, but bellowing diagonally across the camera in opposite directions, alternately, as if holding a conversation at a Metallica concert, or from fifty yards apart in a wind tunnel. "