Monday, March 1, 2010

What's a limn, Part III

"Limn" seems to be a book reviewer's best friend. (See my first post on this topic.) At least that's the case for New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani. 

Back in November 2002, New York magazine's Matt Gross called Kakutani out on her overuse of "limn" (see "One Life to Limn by Michiko Kakutani"--great head, by the way). 

Searching on the NYT website, I found seven more "limns" in Kakutani's reviews since then, though she keeps them to about one a year these days. Most recently, Kakutani wrote on January 28, 2010, that "Mr. Salinger was able to empathetically limn the nooks and crannies of his youthful narrator's psyches..." 

Thanks to my dear colleague Jane (whose creative mind mushed lime and rim to come up with another definition of "limn": to wet the rim of a margarita glass with lime juice) for bringing this alarming limn trend to my attention. 

("Limn" by Gina Wilson, copyright 2008, courtesy Laura Russo Gallery)


  1. Jane's use of the word seems so much less pretentious.

  2. Thanks, rottrover. That's Jane in a nutshell: not pretentious and very lovable.


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