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  1. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #1

    Arrow The term 'epic-catalog'.

    Hi folks,

    Having just joined, this is my first ever question here and I was advised to post it in this specific section of the forum.

    I have been trying to find out the reasons why authors make the decisions to present certain grammatical/language features which they do. I have watched many You-Tube tutorials but it does not seem to be too often that people respond to viewers questions. Also. many You-Tube videos are not especially well presented (to put it lightly!)


    What is (please) the main reason behind a long-list of nouns. I think the intended effect is to cause the reader a sense of feeling 'overwhelmed':

    eg. "They carried tables, chairs, books, shoes, coats, bedding, curtains, cushions and paintings into the lobby".


    I believe the term is 'epic-catalog'?

    Many thanks in advance for any kind assistance offered here . . .

    Best,

    Paul David Seaman (UK)

    <btw: these questions are in relation to my imminent GCSE English exam!>
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 29-May-2017 at 21:49. Reason: Spelling

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post

    Never heard of 'epic-catalog';
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_catalogue
    Take 5 and give us a few jazz licks.
    I doubt if many learners know what you mean by that. I don't.
    Last edited by Piscean; 30-May-2017 at 06:47.

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    #3

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    I don't think we can identify one specific reason for such lists, though the writer is almost certainly placing some emphasis on the totality of what was carried.


  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    I don't feel there's any specific attempt to overwhelm the reader. I think such lists have two possible purposes:

    1. To ensure that nothing is missed because the writer feels it's important for the reader to see the whole list.
    2. To impress the reader so that, after reading the list, they think "Wow, what a lot of ...!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    On the internet, the word epic is used in things like epic fail, so it may be a case of the word being used in this way, but it is not a term that has wide acceptance for lists.

  6. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    Robert,

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    Do you really believe that there is premeditated intent to overwhelm the reader? I find that hard to believe. Maybe it's just the writer's style.

    Never heard of 'epic-catalog'; sorry. Take 5 and give us a few jazz licks.
    Thank you for your response.

    I understand your clear disagreement with me. I am - as I mentioned - an unqualified student and the suggestion was merely my own personal interpretation.

    The device 'epic-catalog' was very famously exploited in Homer's work: 'The Illiad'. I felt my above example may have fallen into the same category, albeit to a less dramatic effect.

    'Take 5' (if you are referring to the Paul Desmond composition as featured on 'Time Further Out'?) is actually written as: 'Take Five'.

    Ta,

    Paul

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    #7

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    "Epic catalog" is not hyphenated.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_catalogue

  8. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    Raymott,

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "Epic catalog" is not hyphenated.
    Thank you for your response.

    OK, fair enough. I was going by how the Moderator who re-listed/re-titled my question spelled it.

    Ta,

    Paul

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    #9

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't feel there's any specific attempt to overwhelm the reader. I think such lists have two possible purposes:

    1. To ensure that nothing is missed because the writer feels it's important for the reader to see the whole list.
    2. To impress the reader so that, after reading the list, they think "Wow, what a lot of ...!"
    I think I identified a third purpose while reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which has several multi-page lists of marine lifeforms: the author had a deadline for submitting the next segment of a serialized novel and couldn't think of a narrative to fill up the last few pages.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The term 'epic-catalog'.

    EMS,

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't feel there's any specific attempt to overwhelm the reader. I think such lists have two possible purposes:

    1. To ensure that nothing is missed because the writer feels it's important for the reader to see the whole list.
    2. To impress the reader so that, after reading the list, they think "Wow, what a lot of ...!"
    Thank you for your response.

    But in a scenario where the writer states (say):

    "After we were rudely awoken at 6am each morning, we had to run to the kitchen and scrub the floors, clean all the work surfaces, polish the glass cupboards, ring out the wet tea-towels and table-cloths, sweep up the bread crumbs, and wash every cup, dish, pot and pan."

    Or even:

    "We were forced to walk for miles and miles, marching up and down steep hills, through rivers and swamps, and through endless jungle land full of bushes, vines and tree stumps."

    Admittedly, I have used more verbs/adjectives, but I would say that the above sentences would generate (within the audience) a feeling of being 'overwhelmed' .

    Ta,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 30-May-2017 at 16:43. Reason: Spelling

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