1. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Use of "wrought"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by HorusEye, Oct 1, 2009.

    I know that "wrought" is archaic, but archaic words fit well with one of my characters. Now I'm just wondering if this sentence is proper:

    "Her misery was self-wrought."

    Meaning that she was the cause/creator of her own misery.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's not entirely archaic. In some contexts it is current, particular in certain crafted goods or materials.

    Wrought is a participle or past participle of the verb to work, in the sense of to shape or to form. It's fine in the given sentence.
     
  3. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    "Wrought" is often used to refer to smithing or metalwork, since it sounds heavy and solid. So, in this case, it makes the misery seem solid and inescapable.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe that's subconsciously why I wanted to use it :)

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds good to me...
     
  6. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    Sorry to dissent, but it makes me think of the higher-collocating 'self-inflicted'. Colorful language is fine, but if it distracts the reader from the narrative (as it just did me), then you should think twice about using a coined phrase, as attractive as it may seem to you.
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    But inflicted implies something abrupt, doesn't it?

    Similar to dealt.

    A wound can be self-inflicted. But what if it the misery had been built up over half a lifetime?
     
  8. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    Hi Horus,

    I'm not arguing niceties of meaning here– I am just saying that in prose narrative one should be careful of distracting the reader with an odd word choice unless there is a very good reason for doing so. That is why collocations are ubiquitous: they expedite communication.

    I do find 'self-wrought' an interesting composition, and I commend you for it...but (in the context given, such as it is) I don't find it compelling. Perhaps in the context you have provided it is.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I get what you're saying. But isn't the subtle nuances of tone and implied meanings more important than readability? Or at least, as important.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In news reports, you often get things like this:
    'The hurricane wrought havoc throughout the area. Widespread damage has been reported'.
    'New Labour's legislation has wrought destruction on the very fabric of British society'.
    (Meaning 'CREATED havoc/chaos')

    I guess Americans would use 'wreaked havoc' more than 'wrought havoc'--or do you not use that expression so much?

    Trust me, I'm a (very) ex-journalist. 'Wrought' is often used in Britain (wonder why?)
     
  11. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    Put that way, I just cannot agree, HorusEye– though in my turn, I get what you're saying, I suppose: you're making room for Art.

    To me, readability is of the essence...though we may of course choose our readership. Our nuances and implications are satisfying to incorporate, but they must be interpretable, or we have failed. But then, it all depends on what we're writing, doesn't it?
     
  12. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    “Wrought” is a common word and well understood by most people and in most contexts
     
  13. MiltonClemens
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    MiltonClemens Member

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    I think Wrought would refer to things that are hand made. An example would be a phrase from Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" :

    Hand-Wrought gold

    It means hand made gold. So if you say self-wrought, I think it would most likely refer to something that she created by herself. In your case,
    would mean that she created her own misery.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not at all... it can be sudden, such as a knife wound, but can also be long-term and continuing, such as biblical job's troubles that were inflicted on him over decades...
     

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