January 03, 2005

What can you Bret Easton Ellis to that?

Donna Malayeri sent by email one of the most blatant violations of Elmore Leonard's Third Rule of Writing that I've ever seen:

With the discussion on the Language Log about using certain nouns as verbs, I thought you might find this example interesting. From Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis: "'As if', I Alicia-Silverstone-in-Clueless back at him." The sentence was hard to parse at first, but once I did, I laughed out loud. :)

I've seen longer and more distracting violations of the closely-related Fourth Rule, but Ellis certainly deserves some recognition for this effort.

Posted by Mark Liberman at January 3, 2005 03:51 PM