A generally pejorative term for writing or language characterized by ornate, flowery, or hyperbolic language is called purple prose. Compare it to simple style.
"The double meaning of the term purple is useful," says Stephen H. Webb. "It is both imperial and regal, and requires attention and overly ornate, ostentatious, even profanity" (Seliger Surplus, 1993).Bryan Garner notes the purple prose "derives from the Latin phrase Purpureus Pannus, which appears in the Ars Poetica of Horace (65-68 BC)" (Garner's Modern American Usage, 2009).
Examples and observations:
- "Once in the hands of Duncan Nicol, as by consecration in the name of a deity more benevolent than all, Pisco Punch became the wonder and glory of San Francisco's heady youth, the balm and comfort of feverish generations , translated drink so adorable and inspired that although its prototype has disappeared, its legend continues, one with the grail, the unicorn and the music of the spheres. "(Columnist Lucius Beebe, Gourmet magazine, 1957; quoted by M. Carrie Allan in "Spirits: Pisco Punch, a classic San Francisco cocktail with official aspirations." The Washington Post, October 3, 2014)
- "Outside of the euphoria in Burnley, Hull and Sunderland, fans wallowed in alcohol-soaked self-pity as the cold hand of failure grabbed their necks and relentlessly tossed them onto the heap of broken dreams purple prose here: As a Stretford variety red wine, I may inappropriately use this week's digestion as catharsis, but I'll go on, promise.) "(Mark Smith, "The Norse: United in Sorrow.") The Guardian, May 28, 2009)
- 'Uncle Tom's hut suffers from filling up (what the French call remplissage), from improbable conspiracy means, Mawkish sentimentality, inconsistency in prose quality and'purple prose'- Sentences like:' Still, dear Eva! just star of your apartment! You will perish; but those who love you don't know '"(Charles Johnson, "Ethics and Literature." Ethics, Literature, and Theory: An Introductory Reader 2nd Edition, edited by Stephen K. George. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)
- Properties of Purple Prose"The perpetrators of purple prose are usually modifiers that make the writing wordy, overworked, distracting, and even stupid. . . ."In purple prose the skin is always creamy, the eyelashes always shine, the heroes are always brooding and the sunrises are always magical. The purple prose also contains an abundance of metaphors and imagery, long sentences and abstractions."(Jessica Page Morrell, Between the Lines. Writer's Digest Books, 2006)
- In Defense of Purple prose"Certain producers of simple prose have led the reading audience to believe that only in prose-normal, simple, or flat can you articulate the mind of the inarticulate commonplace Joe. Pick him up too and leave it at that. This minimalist fashion depends on on the premise that only an almost invisible style can be sincere, honest, moving, sensitive and so on, while prose that draws attention by being cranky, profuse, intense, incandescent or extravagant almost leaves its back on something sacred - the human bond with the ordinary."It takes a certain amount of sass to speak for prose that is rich, juicy, and full of novelty. purple is immoral, undemocratic and insincere; at best artistic, at worst the exterminating angel of depravity. As long as originality and lexical precision prevail, the sentient writer has the right to delve into phenomena and develop as personal a version as possible. A writer who cannot do purple is missing a trick. A writer who keeps going purple should have more tricks. "(Paul West, "In Defense of Crimson Prose." The New York Times December 15, 1985)
- The Pejoration of Purple Prose"The idiom was originally a purple passage or purple patch and the earliest quotation in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1598. The rhetorical sense in English comes from the Ars Poetica of Horace, specifically from the phrase Purpureus Pannus, a purple garment or drapery who have favourited purple as a symbol of royalty, greatness, power.' Purple prose It wasn't until the twentieth century, when the sharp decline in vocabulary and reading comprehension among college-educated Americans caused panic in the educational institution and newspaper industry, that the company didn't seem entirely pejorative, glory and power. This led to the disappearance of the semicolon, the invention of the sentence fragment and a significant increase in the use of words such as methodical. '(Charles Harrington Elster, What's In The Word? Harcourt, 2005)
- Grand style
- Padding (composition)
- Samuel Johnson on the Bugbear Style
- Tall talk