An emergency quiz

If you wanted to specify, in writing, that an ambulance’s siren was the type you hear in Europe rather than the American kind, how would you do it? I might try something like, “It makes an EEEE-oooo EEEE-oooo sound instead of an oooOOEEEEEeeooo.” It’s not terribly elegant.

But I don’t think you can beat David Foster Wallace on conciseness. In Infinite Jest, he coined* the term “Eurotrochaic”: “the Eurotrochaic sirens of ambulances.” I’m quite taken with it.

*I have to assume he coined it, because a Google search of the term yields only nine results, one of which is a page-by-page annotation of Infinite Jest, which I probably should have figured existed but still boggles my mind. (N.B. The preceding rambling sentence was unintentionally but undeniably an example of Wallace’s writing style rubbing off on me. Guess it’s kind of inevitable when you’re 543 pages into a 981-page book, not counting 98 pages of endnotes.)

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One Response to An emergency quiz

  1. Noah says:

    Very well explained. I like your version quite a bit better than David Foster Wallace’s term, which….. means very little unless you already know the sound

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