Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yes, I Do Need All These Shoes

“Heather left behind one of her Swatches. She'd want you to have it, Veronica. She always said you couldn't accessorize for shit.”

Accessories are kind of a sensitive subject in my household. There's a lot of "do you really need all of those shoes?", "don't you already have a black handbag," and "what's this $300 Coach charge on the credit card."

"Oh, um... that must be when I flew coach to visit my dad."

So, I was pleasantly surprised when the dictionary confirmed the importance of accessories by defining them as:

An article or set of articles of dress, as gloves, earrings, or a scarf, that adds completeness, convenience, attractiveness, etc., to one's basic outfit.

Did you see that? The dictionary says accessories add COMPLETENESS. Do you want me to be incomplete?

But, it might as well just have shown this picture, right?

Now, I know that Angelina Jolie's lips are really the only accessory she needs, but pairing that black dress with those emerald earrings was genius, right? Here's a closer look to show their full glory:

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it's Madonna's picture that should be found in the dictionary under accessories. The 80's wouldn't have been the 80's without the lace gloves, the bandana, the bracelets, and the beauty mark:

Although, I think my favorite has to be her newest accessory:

Here, let me get you a closer look to show its full glory:

Sometimes it's even a good idea to accessorize our sentences. We accessorize sentences by adding some extra detail or emphasis to an otherwise basic sentence. To show you how it works, let's start with this basic sentence:

Jolie's emerald earrings were gorgeous.

Now, I am going to accessorize it with some added detail:

Jolie's emerald earrings, which really made her outfit, were gorgeous.

Now, the reason the words I added to the second sentence are added detail is because I don't need them to convey the meaning of my sentence, which is simply that the earrings were gorgeous. I just felt like adding my opinion that they really did spice up her look.

Here's another example:

Madonna has impeccable taste in accessories.

And, now I am going to add some emphasis:

Madonna has impeccable taste in accessories, especially the ones with the glimmering torsos.

So, it's great to add detail and emphasis to sentences, but as you can see from the examples above, you have to make sure to set it off by commas.

It's important to set off the extra information with commas because the commas affect the meaning of the sentence. For example, here's a lie I told my husband:

Studies shows that women who are allowed their sartorial creativity are more creative in bed.

Now, we might ask ourselves whether or not who are allowed their sartorial creativity is extra information and should, therefore, include commas, like this:

Studies shows that women, who are allowed their sartorial creativity, are more creative in bed.

So, to check, let's take out that information and see what our sentence looks like:

Studies show that women are more creative in bed.

Well, that's not what I was trying to convey. I am not trying to say that all women are more creative in bed, just the ones that are not hassled every time they walk in the door with a Nordstrom bag. Without that information, I am not making the case that my accessories really are important for our relationship. Therefore, we do not insert commas.

Oh, and on that note, I might need to take another one of those coach trips. I haven't seen my mom in ages.


SLBTS Alumni Dept. said...

I enjoyed this article and it reminded me of your blog:

jbaranick said...

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed it. What's your linguistic pet peeve?

ivana2463 said...

when creating a list of items articles and/or people sometime i feel like i cant do into depth or explain them in detail any more because to many commas would over power the list, nonetheless confuse the reader.

what ways can you suggest to create a list and somewhat be able to further explain what is being talked about.

this is a horrible example (i am aware but this is some what what im talking about): i greatly appreciate my friends. firstly there is cassandra, the caring individual, who is best described as the selfless and compassionate one (should there be a period here? or a comma?) secondly there is tommy, the artist soul who is full of amazing ideas that will make you want to jump on every ban wagon he throws your way, then lastly there is my mom, the one who will ALWAYS stay true to me when my friends wont.

Missed Periods said...

Ivana, I think I know what you are saying. When you have a list of items in a series that already have commas in them, you can separate the items with a semi-colon. Here's an example:

I went to San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.

Does that help?

crysy92 said...

I get it! I love it! From now on, on second and third drafts, I will accessorize.