… if you’re going to write super-duper-snob prose, get it right or risk being laughed out of the gated community. Here’s the ad copy for a six million dollar house a couple of miles away from ol’ UD in Bethesda, Maryland. Can you spot the problems? Let’s scathe through this, shall we (sniff)?


Quintessentially luxurious in every aspect, the stunning residence is the perfect retreat nestled in verdant Bethesda, Maryland. [So far utterly cliche-driven, but okay. Nestled, verdant – the writer makes use of every stilted, long-dead upscale real estate adjective, but you don’t lose marks for writing generic prose.] Short drive to downtown Bethesda and less than ten miles away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, it is the idyllic cross between peaceful suburbia and city living. The property is just steps away from the prestigious Burning Tree Golf Club, host to numerous American presidents. [Prestigious – of course we’d make use of this embarrassing term. And be one of the lucky few to catch a peek of Donald Trump grunting through a round.] Regarding quality, the sophisticated residence knows no compromise. Perched atop a hill with two separate gated entrances, the home possesses the distinct architectural quality of an eastern castle with a modern panache. [Which is to say that, like a lot of megaostentatious megahouses in ‘thesda, it reaches out desperately, in any and all cultural directions, for imperial transcendence of its debased democratic surroundings. Some kinda … eastern? … castle? (“Yonda lies my faddah’s castle.”) is what the pile looks like.] Each unique feature of the house compliments the abode’s unparalleled architecture, [The writer means complements. Before trying to impress people with your stunning sophistication, learn to spell.] with Burma Teak windows and solid oak doors, towering ceilings, and a romanesque [Just to add yet another culture.] indoor pool and elevator to accommodate the three story building behind a custom wrought iron fence. [After all the Nicholas and Alexandra flouncing, the proletarian word building is a let-down… Although the house is probably in a gated community, note how many security walls and fences we’re featuring. No one will be able to get anywhere near you behind your modern panache golf view battlements.] The property possesses a stunning [Second use of stunning: At this point, we are knocked out flat.] floating staircase, an enclosed courtyard situated beside a double-level deck, a privately tiered backyard that meets an arbor with hand-carved rosewood corbeling. Bathrooms include a lavish display of marble inlay and a lapis lazuli sink. Furthermore, the property boasts a veranda complete with outdoor fireplace and pillars erected over 150 years ago, which elegantly compliment the state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor amenities of the palatial abode. [There’s that pesky compliment again. And while it’s impressive to contemplate a pillar that has remained erect for 150 years, the writer might have been better off with the word built... Plus: What’s a palace doing in my castle?]

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6 Responses to “Scathing Online Schoolmarm says….”

  1. Jeremy Bangs Says:

    “romanesque elevator” – style of Tower of Pisa?

  2. UD Says:

    Jeremy: It’s like what Sheryl Sandberg advises: lean in.

  3. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    If they are trying to sell that sort of overly ornate property, they are not aiming at a market that can spell or is sensitive to nuance. They are looking for ignorant suckers with money.

  4. UD Says:

    gasstation: Suckers, yes, but I’m not sure about ignorant.

  5. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    How do you see through Burma Teak windows?

  6. UD Says:

    Ravi: Yeah. I’m thinking the writer meant window frames…?

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