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A.Word.A.Day--purple prose

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words with color as metaphors.

purple prose (PUR-puhl proz) noun

An overly ornate piece of writing.

[Two synonyms of the term are 'purple passage' and 'purple patch'. The idea comes from Latin pannus purpureus (purple patch), a phrase used by the poet Horace in his Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry) to suggest a patch of royal fabric on an ordinary cloth, a brilliant piece of writing in an overall dull work. Purple was the color of choice by the royalty as the purple dye was the rarest and hence most expensive.]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"How much purple prose will they have to suffer through just to find the dang necklace?" Amanda Henry; King of the World? The Tampa Tribune (Florida); Dec 18, 2007.

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Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. -Francis Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953)

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