Ha! Fantastic article, Marsha. One of my favorite passages on this subject comes from good ol' Strunk & White: "...the world of criticism has a modest pouch of private words (luminous, taut), whose only virtue is that they are exceptionally nimble and can escape from the garden of meaning over the wall. Of these critical words, Wolcott Gibbs once wrote, '... they are detached from the language and inflated like little balloons.' The young writer should learn to spot them — words that at first glance seem freighted with delicious meaning but that soon burst in air, leaving nothing but a memory of bright sound."
I stopped dead at the turn-of-the-century blurbity blurb at the beginning of the article. I love that crazy talk!Hats off to Peter for the EBW quote.