Queen of Analogies

I recently read a quote by Pat Walsh that hits close to home:

"The writer who has too much style is the person who cannot say something clearly. She uses every trick in the book, breaks every rule, and even makes up a few of her own words to ensure she is unique. She usually succeeds--to the worst possible end. Her writing is a crazy quilt no one can enjoy unless they are on acid. Her writing is a load of incomplete or overly complex sentences, pompous words, and punctuation-free sentences a la Molly Bloom."

Oh dear. I am the Queen of Analogies, and as such have delighted in using them liberally. But recently it occurred to me that I've lost the ability to check the reins, as my efforts at casual conversation often result in an metaphorical train wreck. (Or would that be "train rheto-wreck?" Hm.) It seems too frequently my brain switches into a mode of conceptual thinking that refuses to translate into concise words, forcing me to string together elongated comparisons in an attempt to convey simple thoughts. I end up with a convoluted parade of pomposity that makes it sound like I'm choking on my own style. And worse, it's just me. I'm sure anyone else could restate things and just get to the point, fer cryin' out loud.

(ie, previous paragraph restated as, "Me no talk good.")

It's practically a disability. Are there others out there who struggle to speak simple English? Maybe we could get it classified as a dialect, like Ebonics, and induce the government to publish Allegory-to-English dictionaries:

Allegory: "The eagle of desire has planted within me a seed of comestible discontent."
English: "I'm hungry."

(Note: The language of "Allegory" is not to be confused with the language of "Allegorish," a dialect which phrases everything within the context of global warming. End note.)

Does such a thing happen unavoidably, biologically? Or can one delight in the use of analogies to the point that normal speech becomes impossible? Ah, be careful my writing friends, for once you start recklessly wielding the pick axe of abstraction, it is only a matter of time before you cause a cave-in of logic and find yourself trapped underneath the crushing weight of your own panache. Then you'll have to market yourself as a surrealist.


I would never have realized it had it not been for the incessant mockery of a few devout friends. Thank you, devout mocking friends. But now at least I can add a few more titles to my claim... Queen of Analogies, Her Royal Hyperboliness, She Who Metes Metaphors! I rule unchallenged over my kingdom because no one knows what the heck I'm talking about.

No comments: