Clive Thomson driveled something on the internet today:
It must be said: Lovecraft is not a great literary stylist. His prose is good, but not great.
The one exception? This linguistic subgenre—the craft of finding new ways to say that he can’t say something. When Lovecraft does describe a monster straightforwardly, he often stumbles, defaulting to pretty journeyman prose. But when he describes the way a monster can’t be described? He is endlessly inventive. I read and reread my collection of Lovecraft, slapping in a Post-It Note whenever I hit upon one of these I-can’t-even moments, and soon the book was crammed with stickies. I’m starting to believe these catchphrases may be his most enduring contribution to English letters.
Despite being a relatively fun and upbeat article about “stylized linguistic incoherence”, I find myself at a loss for words to describe the level of disrespect to Mr. Lovecraft that I must inveigh here! Well, I never!!
No one should ever dis The Master™ that way! Even if it might be a little true.
My favorite [unintentional] “stylized linguistic incoherence” was a teammate of mine back in my second round of startup daze. After staring at HTML code (not her strong suit) trying to clean up the branding language for TOO MANY HOURS straight FAR TOO LATE AT NIGHT, Gail finally threw up her hands and objected to HTML in general, “That not even English is!” Which is really saying something for a bright young woman with a bachelors degree in English.