May 29th, 2010


After yesterday’s “I’m right about everything” rant, I came across this in a story of mine that had unaccountably been rejected by yet another magazine: “undulant wave.” What does undulant mean? Why, wavelike, of course. So, what I meant apparently was “wavelike wave.” The generous editors sent me a bunch of feedback on pacing and dialogue, but I think we all know why this one was really rejected.


8 Responses to “Admission”

  • Kerry Clare says:

    and the opposite of undulant is dulant, right?

  • Rebecca says:

    And I guess that would mean “flat” or “unwavelike”, no?

  • Scott Watson says:

    I believe Dulant is only a last name. I can’t confirm if Dulants tend to be unwavelike though.

    would constant be the opposite as there is no ebb or flow when things are constant?

  • Kerry Clare says:

    What about when something is unundulant.

  • Kerry Clare says:

    Also, I just found undulating waves in a (very good, incidentally) book I am curretly reading. There is a certain euphony to it too. I think it’s okay.

  • Kerry Clare says:

    I’m sorry, I can’t stop thinking about it, because writer mentioned undulating waves again. And it occurred to me again that undulating waves are something distinct from waves themself, that the undulation describes a particular movement, a gentle rhythm that is different from choppy waves, or lapping waves, or deadly waves, or a tsunami. A wave can be *any* of these things, and that particular adjective clears it all up.

  • Rebecca says:

    Kerry, I think what you say makes sense and also makes me feel better! I’m sure it was not a truly egregious error in my story, but I do think the situation was different than in your book. I didn’t explain this before (because it’s not very interesting?) but I was *comparing* something (a body) to a wave, so upon reflection it was too many layers of comparison to have said, “her body was an undulant wave.” Now it just says “her body is a wave” and I think that’s clearer. But in the case of an ocean…undulate away!

  • Kerry Clare says:

    Yeah, yeah, but it could have meant she had a body like a tsunami (awesome). I just think you were particularly clear. (My book was comparing too. I don’t think anyone actually ever describes actual waves, or maybe I don’t read enough books set in coastal regions).

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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