Purple prose

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Excessively flowery writing, typically produced by novices reaching for a poetic effect that exceeds their writing talent or by experts who digress in order to show off.

The term comes from the "Ars Poetica," in which Horace complains about artists whose excessive embellishment of some minor detail (akin to sewing "purple patches" onto some plainer fabric) distracts from the utility of the overall work. [DGJ]


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Discussion

-- How about the word novices instead of newbies? --JdBerry - 10 Sep 2002

-- Done. DGJ - 10 Sep 2002

LeeAnnKorecky - 21 Nov 2002 Added "it is." Deleted a comma. Added a period. Made the last sentence into a sentence.

Fixed the sentence fragment created by the above author's conversion of a predicate into a whole sentence. Likewise removed "it is" in order to preserve the pattern all the other definitions follow. -- DGJ - 13 Jan 2003