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Monday, March 19, 2012

Fun Fiction Facts


Did you know…
Scientific studies prove our brains are affected by what we read. In a recent New York Times article, brain scans done while subjects read tactile metaphors showed increased activity in the sensory cortex of the human brain. How cool is that? According to the article: "Metaphors like 'The singer had a velvet voice' and 'He had leathery hands' roused the sensory cortex, while phrases matched for meaning, like 'The singer had a pleasing voice' and 'He had strong hands,' did not."

Did you know…
Webster Dictionary boasts that all its words are real and have gone through diligent investigation to ensure their authenticity. However, a fake word, or "ghost" word, was introduced in the second edition of Webster's Dictionary in 1934. A note to the editors--D or d, cont./density-- had been misinterpreted and the spaces removed to create the ghost word "dord," which has no meaning. The mistake was discovered in 1939, but didn't get fixed until 1947.

Did you know…
It was a dark and stormy night is the premier model for how not to start a novel, but it's an actual first line in a published Victorian novel by Edward Bullwer-Lytton entitled PAUL CLIFFORD. The sentence is often used as an example of purple prose. An annual tongue-in-cheek contest bearing Lytton's name seeks entries composed with similar openings. What a way to celebrate a literary faux pas.

Did you know…
What would you guess is the longest novel ever written? There are some doozies out there, and it's funny when you think how brevity has become the name of the game when it comes to books. But it hasn't always been that way. L. Ron Hubbard broke a record with his MISSION EARTH, which rolls in at 1.2 million words! Some would argue that it's a series made up of several books, but the author's original intention was that it be one big novel. Big is an understatement. Coming in at a close second is the no-longer-in-print SIRONIA TEXAS by Madison Cooper that nips at Hubbards heels with a whopping 1,100,000 words.


Did you know…
Looking at the other end of the scale, there's the shortest story ever written and it's been one of my favorites for years. I'll quote the entire story right now:
For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
Six simple words written by Ernest Hemingway that pack one hell of a punch. It has a beginning, middle and an end, and it touches the emotions on all levels. Can you write an entire story in one short sentence? Why not give it a try?

1 comment:

Mario said...

Great post. And to think you could've been Nimoy kin? And dord? I also read that reference on Merriam-Webster.com