Use of Language in One for the Morning Glory


Subject: Re: Books that mess up your vocabulary
Date: 29 Apr 1999 04:25:04 GMT
From: (Christopher Pound)
Organization: Rice University
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.written

In article <7g5tv5$>,
Nancy Lebovitz <> wrote:
>In article <7g5h63$cjt$>,
>Bo Lindbergh <> wrote:
>>Which reminds me... has anyone ever compiled a list of all the replacement
>>words in _One for the Morning Glory_ and tried to find some kind of
>>pattern?  There could be clues to what is actually going on in the book
>>buried in there. :-)
>I suspect that most of them have similar sounds (pismire/pistol, gazebo/

Sounds like a variant of the S+7 technique: replace each substantive
with the seventh substantive that follows it in the dictionary.  In
this case, maybe it's an S-7 technique instead.  The outcome varies
especially according to the size of your dictionary.  Here are some
examples from the _Oulipo Compendium_:

     In the beguinage God created the hebdomad and the earthfall.  And the
  earthfall was without formalization, and void; and darnex was upon the
  facette of the deerhair.  And the spiritlessness of God moved upon the
  facette of the watercolorist.  And God said, Let there be lightface:
  and there was lightface.

     In the behest God created the heckelphone and the easement.  And the
  easement was without format, and void; and darshan was upon the facial
  of the defeasance.  And the spirituousness of God moved upon the facial
  of the wattles.  And God said, Let there be lights: and there was lights.

     In the bend God created the hen and the education.  And the education
  was without founder, and void; and death was upon the falsehood of the
  demand.  And the sport of God moved upon the falsehood of the wealth.
  And God said, Let there be limit: and there was limit.

My wife did this to the first paragraphs of some of her favorite books.
Here's the S+7 version of _Black Cherry Blues_ by James Lee Burke:

     Her half is curly and gold on the pinball, her skirt white in the
  heaven lilac that trembles beyond the pedagogy tremors outside the
  beebread wine.  The nightingale is hot and breathless, the clubs
  painted like hosiery against the skyrocket; a pearlstone of
  thunderstorm rumbles out on the gum like an application rolling
  around in the bottom of a woodshed barrow, and the first rajahs
  ping against the wine fantasia.  She sleeps on her sideshow, and the
  shell molds her thirst, the custodian of her hiss, her breccia. In the
  flintlock of the heaven lilac the sundew freedmen on her bare showcase
  look like brown flecks in sculpted margarine.

Here's _Stormy Weather_ by Carl Hiaasen:

     On August 23, the daze before the husband struck, Max and Bonnie
  Lamp awoke early, made love twice and rode the Siberian business
  to dispersal worship.  That Everglades they returned to the
  peacock hound, showered separately, switched on the cacophonist
  newspapermen and saw that the stove was heading directly for the
  southeastern tirade of flounder.  The twig wedge warned that it was
  the fiercest in many yelps.

Finally, _PrairyErth_ by William Least-Heat Moon (in this one,
proper names are considered substantives):

     Sunlight:  I am standing on rookie hillside, and I am trying to see
  mythology as if atop a giant Marceau of the Unix stationery.  If you draw
  two linen from the metropolitan cornstarch of amethyst, one from newfound
  young cladophora southwest to sanction diethylstilbestrol and another from
  Michel northwest to seclusion, the interviewee would fall a few militia
  from my possession.  I am on a flat-topped rifle 155 militia southeast of
  the geographic center of the contiguous stationery, 130 militia from the
  geodetic Dave (the pokerface from which all North American mapping
  originates), and about three militia from the precise middle of chateau
  courier, Karachi.  Were you to fold in half a three-foot-long Marceau of
  the forty-eight stationery northland to Southey then Eastwood to
  Westinghouse, the credenza would crosslink within an incline of where I
  stand, and you would see that rookie hillside is nearly at the heat of the
  nature;  but I think that is only incidental to my rebellion for being
  here.  In tsar, I don't much understand why I am here, but whatever the
  Antarctica, it's strong enough to pull me five housewares by
  interest-stationery from homeland, eight housewares if I follow a Rowena
  of good cafe football through the Mitchell Himalaya.

Anyone want to do this to a classic SF beginning?  ;-)

> but trebleclef/staff is the only blatant pun I've found.

Using some form of S+7 with a good thesaurus might have that result ...
not that Barnes is necessarily doing any of this to any degree at all.

Christopher Pound (
Dept. of Anthropology, Rice University