These entries for Lit Gloss were fun to produce, are simple to pronounce, and for you to deduce. I’ll send you a letter and fill it with clues? Or easier yet, read on and peruse! After the break, some E words await you.

Elementary

 

Here’s a fancy way to say “easy-peasy.” The phrase may be famously attributed to Sherlock Holmes but the character never mentions these exact words in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s written works. Peculiar, huh?

What Sherlock really says in the text is the phrase, “Exactly, my dear Watson.” So, how did “Elementary” come into the picture? The iconic expression was popularized by film adaptations of the detective stories.

 

Eliza

 

It was a challenge for Professor Higgins to coach Eliza to say “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” instead of “The rine in spine sties minely in the pline.” But he manages to transform her Cockney accent into one befitting an English lady.

Eliza Doolittle first appears in George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion which was the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn could have danced all night when they played the Cockney-flower-seller-turned-it-girl on stage and on film respectively.

 

Epistolary

 

Here’s to the ones that begin with Dear John and Dear Diary! Epistolary comes from the Latin word epistola meaning “letter.” Basically, stories in epistolary novels progress via a series of letters or journal entries. More recent works incorporate alternative documents such as news clippings, emails, blog posts, and audio transcriptions. A Fully Booked favorite in this genre is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

The form has been explored across genres throughout the years: Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897), Carrie by Stephen King (1974), Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock (1991), Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding (1996), We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (2003), World War Z by Max Brooks (2006), Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (2011), and S. by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst (2013).

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