Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Construction Alert

I'm reading Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine* -- the Douglas Adams book even some Hitchhiker's Guide fans don't know about -- and I came across a sentence construction I really liked. Or rather, a verb usage. Adams writes about an Indonesian travel agent:

"He then soothed at us a great deal..."

I really like the idea that you can soothe at someone. The "at" implies that it's unsuccessful -- no soothing was actually done. An attempted soothe.

The book itself is entertaining so far. Without the goofy science fiction plot, Douglas Adams's writing style is remarkably similar to Bill Bryson's.


*Hey Tom! I'm finally reading it! Maybe one day you'll get it back!

No comments: