Timestyle, Time-ese

I’ve always enjoyed this squib from David Grambs’ The Random House Dictionary for Readers and Writers (New York: Random House, 1990) which appears, alas, to be out of print.

Timestyle, Time-ese n. The characteristically heady and melodramatically compressed prose style of Time magazine, with particular reference to its zesty verbs, marshaled characterizing adjectives and hyphenated compound words, clever coinages and puns, and above all (formerly) the frequent use of verbs  at the beginnings of sentences and hence inverted syntax.

Brain child of joke-making, china-dog-collecting, cordovan-shoe-wearing Briton Hadden more than Time co-founding, beetle-browed, baggy-britched Henry Luce was Timestyle. Wrote Wolcottt Gibbs in a New Yorker profile of Luce: ‘Backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind. Where it will end, knows God!’ Ended has inversion since Godwent Luce. ” –John B. Bremner, Words on Words

 

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