Deliciously descriptive

I’ve had the blessing over the last few months to read a lot more than I usually do, and I was delighted to find enjoyment in so many of the things I read. In addition to a few books, I’ve enjoyed various news sites, blogs and online versions of magazines. In early June, I read an article in The New Yorker about book recommendations for summer reading, and found this phrase:

incipiently lubricious

That descriptive couplet stopped me in my tracks. I was positively giddy – such a beautiful, lyrical, perfect pair of words. I read them over several times, enjoying not only the way they read and sounded, but the near taste of them as I said them out loud. For the next few weeks, I enjoyed a mini-obsession with these adverb-adjective phrases, delighting in each discovery.

Perhaps it derives from my musical life, where singing through some tongue-twisting descriptions is just part of the fun (try the extended version Johnny Mercer’s Too Marvellous for Words and you’ll see what I mean – magnificently mysterious, indeed). But lovely lyrical phrases have always been my favourite, sometimes knee-weakeners, sometimes frisson-makers, always read-stoppers. Here are some others from the last few months:

Relentlessly gay (which is now suspected as a hoax, but is still a marvellous phrase).

Distractingly sexy

Offensively tasteless. 

Aggressively kind.

Wonderfully erudite.

Devastatingly handsome.

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