- pa`thet·ic `fal·la·cy /p@TEtIk
- [John Ruskin, 1856]
(figures) attribution of human emotions
to the natural environment, or human actions, intentions, desires,
and motivations ascribed to natural forces or phenomena.
For example: the weeping sky; menacing
darkness · "Save
him, save him!" cried Wendy, looking with horror at the
cruel sea far below. —James M. Barrie
· as if they saw
the friendly hills of Cumberland in the dim and
threatening sky. —Wilkie Collins.
- `pa,tois /'p&,twA/ noun
- a provencial dialect, a dialect consider
uneducated, sometimes used to refer to a secret language of
criminals. See: jargon.
to such scenes, the little man in the road
ventured to reply. He purred in a soft Spanish patois accompanied by gestures that provided a perfect
pantomime. Due to his eloquent motions towards
parish. For a while his spirit had found itself at home there as a
pastor of peasants. His assumed patois
itself was touching. His homely dialogues were compounded of a wise
'Alas,' said the girl in Alsatian patois, 'she has gone for a visit with her brother,
of the shops of Catalans and the boutiques of
Creoles along the Rue Ste. Anne, listening to the soft patois, the click of billiards behind closed shutters,
to the low hum of cafés that in the summer Anthony
Adverse —Hervey Allen ·
He called the porter; there were rapid instructions in an
unintelligible patois. Collected
Stories —F. Scott Fizgerald ·
varying their course—meanwhile croaking
and jabbering in some hateful guttural patois I could not identify. Collected
Stories —H. P. Lovecraft ·
touched on a sore point, and she let out such a stream of fiery
patois that Emil fled from the
kitchen and mounted his mare. O Pioneers!
—Willa Cather ·
the march, says the citizen. To hell with the bloody brutal
Sassenachs and their patois.
Ulysses —James Joyce ·
Plashed through my friend's narration / Her
rustic patois of the hills / Lost in my
free-translation. The Complete Works of John Greenleaf
Whittier —John Greenleaf Whittier
- `pi·ca /'paIk@/
- 1 : (printing) A measure equal to 12 points or
approximately 1/6th of an inch, used in layout.
- 2 : (MS)(often capitalized)
The larger of two common faces used by old typewriters. Pica was a
nonproportional, serif font. Courier largely replaced Pica in
popularity before the end of the typewriter era, but Courier 12
preserved the "pica spacing" of 10 characters per inch. See: Why is
Courier 10 the same as Courier 12 point?
- 3 : adjective of the spacing of letters in a line, 10
characters per inch.
- `pitch /'pItS/
- (MS) characters per
inch. Old typewriters usually were either "10-pitch" (with 10
characters per inch, also known as pica) or "12-pitch" (with 12
characters per inch, also known as elite). Near the end of the
typewriter era, some electronic typewriters allowed the pitch to be
changed and included other pitches such as 15-pitch. A few word
processors use pitch as a synonym for characters per inch.
Expressions such as "Courier 10" mean 10-point Courier in some word
processors, but mean 10-pitch Courier in others, which is not the
same thing. Pitch is not an appropriate measure for proportional
faces (in which characters have various widths).
- `point /pOint/
- (printing) A measure
equal to about 1/72nd of an inch used for type. When type sizes are
given in points, the measure is of the height of the characters,
not of width. It so happens that in some faces characters in the
12-point font averages 10 points in width. Because monitors and
video cards vary, the measurement of screen fonts and distances in
points is metaphoric and bears no reliable relationship to physical
- po`lice ,pro`ce·dur·al /p@'lis
- (genre) A mystery
subgenre which follows the investigation of a crime from the point
of view of a professional law enforcement officer. As the name
suggests, many police procedures for investigation are portrayed
including securing the crime scene, gathering physical evidence,
canvassing the witnesses and suspects, and interrogating suspects.
Often aspects of the officer's personal life, department policy and
politics, and the requirements of the legal system are included,
usually as complicating factors. Usually the officer is not an
expert of any kind and must wait for and rely upon expert analysis
of forensic evidence. Crimes may or may not be especially heinous
and gory and scenes of violence in which officers or bystanders are
seriously injured or killed may be included. Many television series
are more or less police procedurals including Homicide: Life
on the Streets, the Law parts of Law &
Order and CSI, although the latter involves
some evidence-analysis machines which are, so far, pure science
fiction. Although police procedurals are supposed to be realistic,
some contain much gallows humor and plot cliches such as mismatched
partners or fish-out-of-water (detective transfered from another
place or department).
- `pot,boil·er /'pAt,bOilR/ noun
- (publishing) A work written to keep
a pot boiling on the stove, or in other words, to make money
regardless of literary value.
- `pref·ace /'prEfIs/
- (book) A preface is
introductory material by the author of the book. A preface is
presumptuous in most works of fiction, although occasionally a
"preface" occurs in a novel as part of the fiction. In story
collections, publishers may wish a brief passage to strike the
keynote of the collection, and this may or may not be styled
"preface" in the finished book. Compare:
- pro`por·tion·al /pR'poUrS@nl-/ adjective
- (printing) of a
typeface, having the quality that some characters require more
horizontal space than others. In a proportional font, typically, a
capital M or W take more horizontal space than a lowercase l. If
the following lines are of different lengths, you are viewing this
in a proportional font:
Proportional fonts are often considered more attractive and are
used in most books, newspapers, and magazines.
- `puz·zle `mys·ter·y /'p@zl-
'mIstRi/ or /'p@zl-
- (genre) Puzzle stories
are not so much a subgenre in themselves, but are a type of story
which sometimes occurs in many mystery genres. The best known kind
of puzzle story is the locked room mystery, in which the victim is
murdered in a room that is locked from the inside. In a puzzle
story, all the clues necessary for the solution of the crime are
available to the reader and the reader does not require any special
knowledge but only sharp powers of deduction to solve the crime.
Some readers may think that all mysteries must be puzzle stories,
but in truth puzzles stories are really rather rare. Although cozies present puzzles more
often than they occur in other subgenres, usually the apparent
puzzle does require some special knowledge that the detective has
but the reader does not or cheats in some other way. The reason
puzzle stories are rare should be obvious: if readers have a fair
chance to solve the mystery, some -- or perhaps many or most -- of
them will. An author has to have great confidence in his powers of
misdirection to undertake a puzzle story. Often puzzle stories are
more "How dunnit?" than "Who dunnit?" for the likely culprit is
often obvious and the problem is that there seems to be no
plausible way he could have committed the crime, as in locked-room
mysteries when if you take the premises at face value, it is
impossible for a murder to have occurred at all.
Skip to: Top or page information.
Donate by Mail!
8800 N IH 35
AUSTIN TX 78753
Donate by PayPal!
Donations are not tax deductible and do not buy
access, products, or services.
Skip to: Top or
This page is the Glossary page for the letter
Writers' Workshop Guided Tour
Use the following links to continue the Workshop
Guided Tour. This will abandon any excursion tours shown below.
PREV | HOME |
Glossary Guided Tour
Use the following links to continue the Glossary
PREV | HOME | NEXT