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Subject: Spoonsful of Pinker ( 1 of 3 )
Posted by beeline


I'm currently re-reading Dirk Gently again, and came across the word 'spoonsful' (as opposed to 'spoonfuls') in the college dinner scene at the beginning.

I'm also re-reading Pinker's 'The Language Instinct', and he has an interesting section on the pluralisation of compound nouns (the ice-hockey team 'The Maple Leafs' instead of 'The Maple Leaves', etc. - I'm sure you remember).

I wondered if you consciously chose 'spoonsful' over its alternative because it sounded quirkier and is a more interesting word. Really, it would interest me to know whether you are conscious of this sort of amusing wordplay as you write, or whether your stream of consciousness flows onto the page uninterrupted by any brief pauses to ponder words, and then the quirky details are edited into it afterwards when you re-read. I guess it depends on the mood you're in when you're writing.

Just wondering!

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