Saturday, August 8, 2009

Romeo is Banish'd

My younger son asked me the other day, "Mom, can you banquish?

Hmmm. Let's see. You can vanish and vanquish; and you can banish, but you can't really banquish. Though you have to admit, it sounds like a pretty good word, and it seems like something one should be able to do.

A couple of days later, I came across a similar conundrum, some characters in one of my summer reading selections discussing astoundished and astonded: "No, that's not, not quite -- Astonished? . . . Astounded?" (p 192).

This conversation takes place in The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, a book I picked up only because Benedict is the name of my other son (older brother to the banquished Sam). The Benedict Society consists of four quirky little geniuses (Constance Contraire, Kate Wetherall, Reynard Muldoon, and George "Sticky" Washington) out to save the brave new world, kind of like Edward Gory's Gashlycrumb Tinies, except upbeat and resourceful instead of doomed.

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