Like many people who love words, I am a huge fan of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett. I know of few writers who play with words to such brilliant effect, making you simultaneously cry with laughter and see the world in a new way. In honour of the second anniversary of Sir Pterry’s death, here are a few of my personal favourites.
She felt an overpowering urge to curse. She knew a great many curses. Goodie Whemper had been really inventive in that department: even the creatures of the forest used to go past her cottage at a dead run.
She couldn’t find a single one that fully expressed her feelings.
“Oh, bugger,” she said.
Vimes shrugged. “That’s it, then,” he said, and turned away. “Throw the book at him, Carrot.”
Vimes remembered too late.
Dwarfs have trouble with metaphors.
They also have very good aim.
The Laws and Ordinances of Ankh and Morpork caught the secretary on the forehead. He blinked, staggered, and stepped backwards.
It was the longest step he ever took. For one thing, it lasted the rest of his life.
After several seconds they heard him hit, five storeys below.
Tiffany jumped when she saw a balloon sail up above the trees, catch the wind and swoop away … it was followed by a long scream of rage mixed with a roar of complaint: “AAaargwannawannaaaagongongonaargggaaaaBLOON!” which is the traditional sound of a very small child learning that with balloons, as with life itself, it is important to know when not to let go of the string. The whole point of balloons is to teach small children this.
A Hat Full of Sky
Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.
Thief of Time
Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?