Phraseology would, presumably, be the "study" or "science" of phrases. Only it isn't, it is the art of phrasing, I'd say. That is, it is more art than science. To me it is the grouping of words in such a way as to clarify, intrigue, entice, and entertain the reader.
"I sensed something drifting past the portholes of my solitude."
"Mixing metaphors with the flair of Julia Child and the forcefulness of Emeril."
"She was a dream who became a nightmare."
"No one accurately predicts the future or faithfully remembers the past."
"He looked at the long, open road ahead and thought 'it's a good day to die.'"
"The sea shivered in the coldness of the moonlight."
"The clock ticked as loudly as his heart, each counting the seconds until his death."
The above are all my concoctions and I retain copyright... such is my meager ego.
The best phrases are metaphors, I think. But anything which evokes a strong emotion works well. Recently, Al Gore dabbled in some poetry which can be found in his most recent book. Now, I may differ with Mr. Gore on many political issues but that does not mean I cannot admire his handling of phrases. And poems, in my opinion, are the best examples, outside of movie scripts and plays, of phrases which capture emotion. Even if they are meaningless in themselves.
Here is the entire poem (my favorite phrases in italics)...
One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun
Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune's bones dissolve
Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly
Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning's celebration
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups
Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung
The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools.
Ok, the last line is pretty lame. And many of the phrases trite but the guy tried. And he reads it well, too, with oh so knowing glances at audiences. No, he's no Shakespeare and his words will (hopefully) not become part of our daily lexicon.
I post this not as a political piece or to make fun of the former Vice-President. Just because I do admire some of the phrasing in the poem. I'm a bit of a sap that way.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago