Random Quote #51 topic: education, Schools, teachers, and scholarship, mostly not complimentary.
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Periphrasis is the putting of things in a round-about way. "The cost may be
upwards of a figure rather below 10m#." is a periphrasis for The cost may be
nearly 10m#. "In Paris there reigns a complete absence of really reliable
news" is a periphrasis for There is no reliable news in Paris. "Rarely does
the 'Little Summer' linger until November, but at times its stay has been
prolonged until quite late in the year's penultimate month" contains a
periphrasis for November, and another for lingers. "The answer is in the
negative" is a periphrasis for No. "Was made the recipient of" is a
periphrasis for Was presented with. The periphrasis style is hardly possible
on any considerable scale without much use of abstract nouns such as "basis,
case, character, connexion, dearth, description, duration, framework, lack,
nature, reference, regard, respect". The existence of abstract nouns is a
proof that abstract thought has occurred; abstract thought is a mark of
civilized man; and so it has come about that periphrasis and civilization are
by many held to be inseparable. These good people feel that there is an almost
indecent nakedness, a reversion to barbarism, in saying No news is good news
instead of "The absence of intelligence is an indication of satisfactory
developments."

-- Fowler's English Usage



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