November 6th, 2011

typos are hell

Feature: What Is Purple Prose?

Purple prose: When does a lot become just too much?

What is purple prose? Usually, it's when too much becomes just too much, when flowery adjectives and redundancy get in the way of the narrative. Edward Bulwer-Lytton's infamous first sentence probably qualifies:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

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