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Jackson, Shirley

Charles

In the plot of today’s story, you will find mentioned a real-world conversational device that I can’t help but love, in a guiltily pleasuristic sort of way. I’m not sure what to call it, though I’m sure the modern linguists have had their way with it.

In the plot of today’s story, you will find mentioned a real-world conversational device that I can’t help but love, in a guiltily pleasuristic sort of way. I’m not sure what to call it, though I’m sure the modern linguists have had their way with it.

It’s like an eponymous spoonerism, but maybe a little light on the spoony bits. Specifically, in the story, the title character is an obnoxious, bratty, trouble-making, foot-stamping boar of a kid, and so, to the other characters, “making a Charles” became a token turn-of-phrase for anybody’s obnoxious, bratty, trouble-making, foot-stamping boarish action. The young people these days might lean toward “pulling a …” (as in, “I really pulled a Miette yesterday, charmed the socks right off the world itself,” or, the day before yesterday, it might’ve been “you so pulled a Miette just then– that’s the most ridic thing I’ve ever heard. ” )

In any event, in my world of endless potential projects, I’ve been fantasizing about creating a sort of dictionary, cataloguing all the actions I associated with people I know– it’d be a panegyric, really, to my people, so that I might eventually come up with a new abstruse colloquial vocabulary. I might say, for instance, “Yesterday I Jasoned a Frederick and had a Juniper while Ronning an Ashley,” with each name representing something very specific and particular and well-defined in my own terms. And you think you can’t understand what I’m saying now, just you -wait-.

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By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

9 replies on “Charles”

I’m sure you’ve already gotten a ton of comments about how there are no spoonerisms in your example eponyms, so I won’t rub that in too much.

So, I’ll mainly just say that your podcasts are great. Full of homey ambiance and comfortingly casual production values. Thanks for doing them!

What a lotten rack of pies. You bake it tack!

But: I know there are no -actual- spoonerisms, and although I’m confident in my ability to backpedal out of that by digging into my example sentence, the truth is, I had visions of invoking spoonerismatics in that example, and never got around to it, and, of course, didn’t copyedit myself. That, and I wanted to be able to say “spoony,” to see what weird searches would be sent my way. But it’s even better this way: I get to keep my “spoony” -and- throw in a “lotten back of pies.” So you’ve made my day.

And “comfortingly casual” might be the nicest thing that’s ever been said about my production values. Many prefer “eardrum-shattering,” “wretched,” or “sophomoric.”

I must admit, though, that I guessed the outcome of this story within the first minute or so. (Maybe I read it a long time ago.) That doesn’t detract from your wonderful reading, however!

u need help writin an essay on charles….it has to do with its settings..attitudes…plot..and characters..please help me

OMG!Where can i find a place to read this book online! I have it for Homework, but I left the book in my locker!! AHHHHHH!

Thanks for this service. Its a great story and to hear it read by you with such a wonderful warm voice full of impressions, clearness and intonations of the English language.

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