Friday, September 21, 2007

Describing something exactly

I love to hear English used in creative, nifty, and thought-provoking ways that still convey their meaning. Take this passage, for example, from a blog called San Antonio Daily Photo:
There's some work being done to the exterior of the Central Library. I'm not sure what's being done, but they have the whole work area cordoned off with that caution do not cross tape and those pylons. You see the men on scaffolding, or sometimes they have this big craney-like machine that raises them up into position.
I love the phrase "big craney-like machine". At first glance, it seems wrong. She means a cherry picker, but she didn't use that term, because she either didn't know it or because she just liked the "craney-like" phrase. Then it strikes me that, in reading her description, I know exactly what she is talking about. And then, it doesn't seem wrong at all.

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