Words created by King (e.g., clustermug)

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Ron Barnes

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Sep 26, 2016
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One of the reasons I enjoy King's novels is his use of creative phrases. He puts words together that I've never seen or heard in the same sentence. However, I'm trying to decide what to think about words he seemingly just made up. Take, for example, "clustermug". When I googled it, the only reference to it was in this book. He uses it several times in UTD and from the context it clearly means "disaster" or "catastrophe" but why did he choose to make up a word when he could have chosen a perfectly good word we already have? Was he trying to imply that it was an indescribable disaster, one in which we'd say that "words fail me" when we try to express what it was like? Any thoughts?
 

not_nadine

Comfortably Roont
Nov 19, 2011
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Behind you
One of the reasons I enjoy King's novels is his use of creative phrases. He puts words together that I've never seen or heard in the same sentence. However, I'm trying to decide what to think about words he seemingly just made up. Take, for example, "clustermug". When I googled it, the only reference to it was in this book. He uses it several times in UTD and from the context it clearly means "disaster" or "catastrophe" but why did he choose to make up a word when he could have chosen a perfectly good word we already have? Was he trying to imply that it was an indescribable disaster, one in which we'd say that "words fail me" when we try to express what it was like? Any thoughts?

Someone else might have a better answer, but perhaps the character was using a variation of 'ClusterFeck' But with the real word? Like Annie's cursing in 'Misery'? Just a guess.
 

recitador

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Sep 3, 2016
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Someone else might have a better answer, but perhaps the character was using a variation of 'ClusterFeck' But with the real word? Like Annie's cursing in 'Misery'? Just a guess.

i didn't recall who it was, but when i googled it referenced jim rennie . . . who was a holier than thou hypocrite who definitely had a thing about "sinning" . . .so it's pretty much the explanation above. replacing curse words with weird approximations so he could keep his language clean. gotta love the dichotomy of being concerned about cursing but not meth or murder. it'd be funny if there weren't so many real life examples
 

rudiroo

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2008
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London, England
Great idea for a thread, Ron. And welcome to the most civilized and friendliest message board on the internet.

Among my favourite SK words is Frankencat (Pet Semetary).

Favourite phrase is "curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back"(From a Buick 8) - I spent months starting phone calls to my mum (Mom for US readers) with the first phrase, and she'd have the comeback, quick as you like. Ahhhhh. . .