Cthulhu Chick recently formatted Lovecraft’s original works into eBook format, a process which allowed her to make a count of Lovecraft’s favorite words. There are a few surprises on the list – “squamous” appears only once, shockingly – and a few obviously preferred choices (“hideous” appears 260 times, “nameless” 157 times).
Despite its comparative brevity, today’s story has no shortage of words – including a handful on the above mentioned list. Though a fairly standard horror story, it has an almost poetic undercurrent of descriptive language. Phrases like “after an infinity of awesome, sightless crawling up that concave and desperate precipice,” or “it was a compound of all that is unclean, uncanny, unwelcome, abnormal, and detestable,” are the exact language-based gymnastics expected of Lovecraft by casual readers – or outsiders, if you will forgive the pun.
Your assignment today is very brief: which of Lovecraft’s favorite words (or phrases) are your favorite? Briefly explain your choice. (It needn’t appear in today’s reading.)
I must personally confess an unwholesome affection for both “eldritch” and “gibbering,” and was oddly gratified to see that Nyarlathotep was mentioned 47 times…