May 17, 2007



Dennis Johnson had the same idea 5 years ago: http://www.mobylives.com/Limning_Kakutani.html

K.G. Schneider

It must be in her contract, just as there must be a rule that every issue of the NYTBR uses the word "brio" at least once.


Blame it on the fricking Limn-Council. Ever since the '00 election, where they donated at the Ranger level, it's been the high-fructose corn syrup of book review verbs. I noticed it popping up in the blurbs on my kids' Scholastic Books order forms.

Jimmy Beck

Sigh. I love her.


2002? Was anyone reading blogs then? (I wasn't, so forgive the duplication.)


Reminds of when Frank Gifford was in the booth at Monday Night Football and someone pointed out that the Old Trojan opined "This is a real hard-hitting football game" every single game. He never said it again.


There's one word Ms Kakutani uses twice as often as 'limn,' and it's 'dazzling.'

--Limn/-ed/-ing = 70ish times since 1985
--Dazzling = 150ish times since 1981


There was a great "NB" column in the Times Literary Supplement a few months ago proposing a retirement of "limn" from their reviews.

Anna Clark

That's fucking hysterical.

Celia Hayes

(scribbling serious note to self)
Avoid depending on verbal crutches....


Equally annoying is Michiko's overuse of "stunning" and "dazzling" whenever she wants to praise a book.

Lyn Lejeune

There limn and then I also grow weary of book reviews with "spare language." It all leads one to think that there must be a program for reviewers. Put in the title, a couple of character names, a plot (usually provided by the PR department of the publisher), place. There you go. Then fill in a few more blanks and there is your book review.


This is too funny!

Brought back memories of a good segment on NPR's Fresh Air by linguist Geoffrey Nunberg on use of the word "roil."

After I heard that segment years ago, I still see the word pop up everywhere -- even in fiction. And no, I don't read Gothic romances or porn which are the only places Nunberg says he sees the word spring up in fiction.

Here's a link to the piece. Makes for a good read:



She went out on a limn and you sawed it off.
She might need to see a prosthetics specialist for a new limn.

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