A Handbook to Literature
A Handbook to Literature, Seventh Edition. William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman
I’m a writer – I get mostly decent reviews, my editors haven’t ever threatened to cut me off at the keyboard, and I have an amazing group of writer friends who all tell me I know my craft.
They lie 🙂
I opened this book, figuring I’d be pretty familiar with the content. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Random opening to page 181. Empiricism. Anybody want to guess?
Empiricism: In philosophy the drawing of rules of practice not from theory but from experience. Hence, an empirical method is sometimes equivalent to an ‘experimental’ method or scientific knowledge. In medicine, however, an ’empiric’ usually means a quack.
Next random page? Metrical Accent : The accent called for by the rhythm pattern in poetry.
Nucleus: The heart of a syllable; almost always a vowel. A paradigmatic syllable consists of a nucleus necessarily, and possibly an ONSET (consonant matter) before and a CODA (consonant matter) after.
*I knew this one!!
Penny Dreadful: A cheaply produced paperbound novel or novelette of mystery, adventure, or violence or popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in England
Last random page?
Spuria: Collective plural for such spurious items as forgeries and fakes
This was just a sampling of all the cool stuff I was clueless about – if you get a chance to browse this book, it will have you scratching your head, going “Really??”