Alas, poor Snarklings

A Snarkling Wordwarrior writes:

"Does anyone outside the NY publishing community write the word "alas?" For those of you who do write that word, do you actually say it out loud in conversation? I've seen "alas" only in rejection letters and in the unpublished works of fiction written by those who have rightfully received a shitload of rejection letters."

You're asking this of Miss Snark who regularly writes 'gin pail' 'reticule' 'heaven forefend' and '23 skidoo'?

Alas is a perfectly good word and Miss Snark uses it daily. To wit:

"There was alas from Nantucket"...oh wait...never mind.

Truthfully, there are only so many ways to say "sorry charlie" in a rejection letter so we may tend to use words not in the daily lexicon of those who are not writing such letters. Doesn't mean they are mannered, effete or pretentious (well, ok Miss Snark is all that and more..alas) but just trolling madly for words.


Ric said...

Well, the week must be going well for Miss Snark...

Witty rejoinders, snarky remarks and all before finishing her morning Starbucks...

Going to be a beautiful day in the Midwest - hope the same is true of the 212.

Jan said...

ALAS! I love the word alas (I don't think it appears in any of my fiction but it is one of my great correspondance loves.)

Alas, alack and fits of woe
With deep regret
We must say no...
Your manuscript so pearly white
To you -- beloved.
To us -- not right.
So take this thing and mail anew
To agents far
And not too few
But not to us
Pray, don't be blue
A different agent
May love it too.

Bernita said...

I have used it occasionally, alack,and I live in the Thousand Islands which, believe me, is very FAR from NY.

Anonymous said...

My husband actually uses the word "pshaw" on occasion. Yes, even thought it's 2005.

What is the origin of the term "gin pail"??


Miss Snark said...

gin pail! Miss Snark believes that it started in the black days of Prohibition when ladies and gentlemen such as Grandmother Snark were forced to brew gin in the tub. One then removed it to the parlor with ..a gin pail.

I think also you could buy a pail of gin at the local bar but Grandmother Snark is mum about her bar fly days.

PS Ric, Miss Snark drinks Cafe Bustelo. Exclusively.

Miss Snark said...

So, I dash over to the web to look up "gin pail" and by golly, the only listings for "gin pail" are THIS BLOG!!

Miss Snark the retro style trend setter. 23Skidoo!

Anonymous said...

As I'm geographically challenged, maybe someone could enlighten me as to where (or what) is the 212?

Ric said...

Well, that was disappointing. Miss Snark sent me to Google to track down Cafe Bustelo. I assumed (silly me) that it was some fancy chain of coffee shops peculiar only to the 212.

But, no, my hopes were dashed when it appears her caffiene of choice is a gourmet delight available to anyone with a zip code.

Worse, I then realized I haven't been to the 212 in over 25 years. What a depressing start to the day!

Somebody buy my book, so I can fly in for a meet & greet, drink Glenfiddich in Harry's Bar, Trout Almondine at the Lion's Den in the Village and horrify Miss Snark by adding one cream, two sugars to Cafe Bustelo.

Ric said...

the 212 was at one time the only area code for NYC - Manhatten -

Hence, the geographical reference. There are many, many more area codes for that area now, but Miss SNark seems to have managed to stay in the original 212.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, ric.

the occasional anonymous

Gabriele C. said...

I use "alas", and I've learned British English at a German school, by reading a lot and by living in Scotland. Yep, it's still English they use, though they pronounce it funny. :)

Anonymous said...

Yep, it's still English they use, though they pronounce it funny. :)

I've heard the same about Baltimore.

the occasional anonymous