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Constant Reader > A synonym for "too wordy"?

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message 1: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments I'm looking for a word to describe a book, a word to use as a tag/category for my goodreads book list. I am currently using the tag, "too wordy", but is there a better word?

I've applied it to the book _Middlemarch_ by George Eliot.

I wouldn't use the word "dense" because it brings up the implication that I was too dense to understand the writing (lol), which isn't the case. I just didn't enjoy feeling as though I were "plowing" through all those words to get a sense of the plot. I also felt that way about the book _Beloved_ (by Toni Morrison). I enjoy a sophisticated or elegant writing style, but it has to be the kind I enjoy. (I know it when I see it). :)

What word would you suggest I use, instead of "too wordy"?

PS-Am I being too wordy? (lol)

message 2: by Brooke (last edited Nov 16, 2008 07:21AM) (new)

Brooke Verbose?

Don't worry, I know people who are "too wordy" and you don't qualify, Joy. :)

message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9374 comments I second Brooke's nomination. Verbose does it.

message 4: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Thanks, Brooke and Ruth. Verbose is good. I still like "too wordy". That seems to say it better for me. I don't know why.

Brooke, I'm glad I'm not too verbose. Now why does that connote obese to me? LOL I can't answer that question either.

Connotations are interesting. Not everyone gets the same connotation from a word. When I was a kid, I thought the word "body" was dirty word. It took me a long time to get over that. As I say, we all have our own built-in connotation machinery. (Now, what's a better word than "machinery" there?) (lol)

As you might guess, I use quite a bit.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy H.
I've tended to equate verbose with negative vibes...boring even, so after a little looking up of definitions, I found this...
Adj. 1. verbose- using or containing too many words; "long-winded (or windy) speakers"; "verbose and ineffective instructional methods"; "newspapers of the day printed long wordy editorials"; "proceedings were delayed by wordy disputes"
long-winded, wordy, tedious, windy
prolix - tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length; "editing a prolix manuscript"; "a prolix lecturer telling you more than you want to know"
[The Free Dictionary:]

So certainly more than 'wordiness' which in my opinion is not a bad thing. :)

message 6: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Hi Pontalba,
Thanks for all of those useful synonyms. I like the expression "long-winded". It also looks as if "wordy" is an acceptable word.

I looked up "prolix" and found words similar to those you found: tiresomely wordy; marked by or using an excess of words; using too many words and therefore boring or difficult to read or listen to.

"Tiresomely wordy" says it all for me. However, the expression,"too wordy", is practical because it's suitably short for use as a tag. So I guess I'll stick with it.

I suppose, as you say, "wordiness" doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, the worth of the wordiness depends on which words are being used and what those words are saying, as well as how they say it. Style. It also depends on the reader. Some folks like flowery language. Others like economy of words. Like everything else, to each his own.

Personally, I find it amusing to read the different tags folks use on their bookshelves. Some of them are quite humorous and original. That's another great feature of goodreads.

message 7: by Candy (new)

Candy Joy, sorry I can't help ya...I don't know nothing about things "too wordy"


message 8: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Why not, Candy? Haven't you ever come across an article or a book which was "tiresomely wordy"... "tediously prolonged"... and/or "verbose" ?

message 9: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Candy, try reading _Middlemarch_ and let me know what you think, relative to the idea of "too wordy". Or perhaps you've read it before. If so, what did you think of it?
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I found it too dense to bother with.
Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I dunno.

message 10: by Candy (last edited Nov 17, 2008 11:47AM) (new)

Candy I was totally "taking the piss out of myself" when I said I couldn't offer any help.

Sorry, I as ...again...trying to make a funny...because I am a tragiccally wordy person heh heh. My friend, Mister Anchovy, his dad used to say "Candy, you could talk to a tombstone".

Okay, levity aside...

Yes...I have read Middlemarch and I agree, the books writtene in that era have a style that is wordy. Henry James can be torture for many readers...Melville too. Conrad sometimes. Dickens.

I believe that the way those writers was a device to kind of entice the reader into the scens...into the world of the novels so that plot and character development washed into the consciousness of the reader. How do I say that the reader might have a transformative some of the characters.

It's not a style for everyone...and I've met many people who despise Henry James...but I rather enjoy the seems to work on me heh heh!

a good example much more accessible is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice...even the takes a lot of social buildup for those two to finally get together! But it gives the reader (and or viewer) a big pay off!


message 11: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (BethALM) Joy, I just noticed this description of certain classics in a post on another group and I wondered if this might be the word you were searching for...


Not my description! LOL! I enjoyed Middlemarch, but it did take some concentration to get through.

message 12: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) How about something from the "Words I Hate" thread? Verbiage.

Seriously. My dictionary does, after all, define it as "overabundance of words". And the Penguin Usage and Abusage has this to say:

"... verbosity results in verbiage; nowadays, verbosity is applied mostly to speaking; verbiage mostly to writing; verbosity is both tendency and result, whereas verbiage is only result."

message 13: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) A one-word synonym? Or simply something other than your "too wordy"?
How about "verbally over-done" (or "over-cooked")?

We used to say that somebody who talked much too much had verbal diarrhoea, but that might be a bit too rude... Please forgive me, I'm just an uncouth Kiwi, and we quite possibly have different standards of what's acceptable in polite company.

message 14: by Candy (last edited Nov 17, 2008 11:07PM) (new)

Candy Well, in some ways even the title of this topic is "too wordy".


I think wordy by itself would suit your purposes Joy. You don't need to say the extra "too". Wordy alone would suffice.

Or you could use prolixity for your library terms for books you found wordy.

message 15: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments About the era in which Middlemarch was written, I often wonder if the folks who wrote those wordy books spoke the way they wrote. Any guesses anyone?

message 16: by Joy H. (last edited Nov 18, 2008 05:39AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Yes, Beth, tedious is a good word. Anything too wordy would be tedious for me, except in cases where I found the words enjoyable. I remember the long sentences of Cormac McCarthy in _All the Pretty Horses_. Some of McCarthy's descriptions, using lots of "ands", took my breath away. Below is an example:

p. 235: "He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will wither in bitterness.

message 17: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Beth, you mentioned the need for concentration when reading Middlemarch. That's an important point for me. Sometimes my ability to concentrate isn't what it used to be. Sometimes I blame it on the fact that nowadays we have many more distractions in our lives.

On the other hand, the strength of our concentration often depends on the strength of our motivation. I find that if I'm strongly motivated, I can do practically anything... within reason, of course.

For example, I've been able to stick with _Gilead_ because I want to appreciate this group's December discussion. That motivation makes me concentrate harder when the minister gets a bit ambiguous in his ramblings. Without the special motivation of this group, I might have put the book aside and let it drift into the category of "partially read".

message 18: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 633 comments Whitiker, my head is spinning trying to take in the difference between verbosity and verbiage. But I'm glad you brought that up.

Kiwi, "verbally over-done" does get the point across, but "too wordy" is shorter and says the same thing. That's why I'm keeping it as a tag.

Candy, I like the extra word "too" in "too wordy". The word "wordy" alone doesn't express my feelings that the book was too darn wordy!

Also, Candy, you said "in some ways even the title of this topic is "too wordy". The title is: A synonym for "too wordy"?. What shorter title would you suggest?

message 19: by Candy (new)

Candy Well, I'm just teasing you Joy. I thought the word proxility was very funky and cute.

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