CTS Entry: Rectangle
Posted by Angela Ackerman
No true rectangles in nature
Rooms of a house
Wall plates for light switches
Sheet of paper
Pack of gum
Stick of gum
Synonyms: quadrangle, quadrilateral, oblong, four-sided figure
Describing a shape is best done in as few words as possible. Think of the shape as a camera snap shot--you want to capture the gist of what you mean as soon as possible so you can get on with other related (and more important) detail, and the action happening in the scene
A weak example:
I held my hands apart the span of a loaf of bread. "I'm telling you, Muriel--the rat I seen musta been this big!"
What's wrong with this example?
This example uses a rectangular object to indicate a size, not a shape.
A stronger example:
I flopped onto the mattress of my motel room, quickly discovering the thing was as comfortable as a truck bed filled with gravel.
Why does this work?
This shows us the shape in two places: the mattress itself and a truck bed of gravel, both familiar objects that don't require lots of explaining.