Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Commonplace   /kˈɑmənplˌeɪs/   Listen
Commonplace

noun
1.
A trite or obvious remark.  Synonyms: banality, bromide, cliche, platitude.



Related searches:



WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Commonplace" Quotes from Famous Books



... it from the windows of his office in the second story of the Crow's Nest. A many-tracked railroad yard, flanked on one side by the repair shops, roundhouse, and coal-chutes; and on the other by a straggling town of bare and commonplace exteriors, unpainted, unfenced, treeless, and wind-swept: Angels stood baldly for what it was—a mere stopping-place in transit ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde

... alone on the back seat. Although she grimaced at her mother's suggestion, she was in high spirits, exploding over every trivial incident of the journey. Arthmann, as he faced her, told himself that he had never seen her so giggling and commonplace, so unlike an artist, so bourgeois, so fat. He noticed, too, that her lovely eyes expanded with the same expression, whether art or eating was mentioned. He hardly uttered a word, for the others discussed "Tristan und Isolde" until he hated Wagner's name. She ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... ratiocination in a series of questions that permit no answer; or (as Junius says) carry their own answer along with them. The great art of Junius is never to say too much, and to avoid with equal anxiety a commonplace manner, and matter that is not commonplace. If ever he deviates into any originality of thought, he takes care that it shall be such as excites surprise for its acuteness, rather than admiration for its profundity. He takes care? say rather, that nature took care ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... seem almost sentimental to you, who perhaps accept your citizenship as an unregarded commonplace of natural right. But, for me, the freeing of our people was an emancipation to be compared only to the enfranchisement of the Southern slaves and greater even than that, for we had come from citizenship ...
— Under the Prophet in Utah - The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft • Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O'Higgins

... the number of failures will be greater for the failing pupils who remain in school the longer time may seem rather commonplace. But it will not seem trite to state that the percentage of the total failures on the total subject enrollments increases by school semesters up to the seventh; that the percentage of possible failures for all graduating ...
— The High School Failures - A Study of the School Records of Pupils Failing in Academic or - Commercial High School Subjects • Francis P. Obrien

... with these considerations on the diminution of death, disease, and suffering by improved sanitary arrangements, is the delicate subject of the propagation of hereditary disease. It is a commonplace that the most important of all the acts of life, is that on which men and women venture most thoughtlessly. But experience shews, unmistakably, that there are many forms of disease, both mental and bodily, which are transmitted from the parents to the children, and ...
— Progressive Morality - An Essay in Ethics • Thomas Fowler

... as the two boys met to talk over these alluring matters the little town and the dusty lanes became exceedingly tame and commonplace. ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... survived; and still we survive. My faith, what a couple! Sublimity would have none of us. The glacier rejected souls so commonplace as not to be properly impressed by ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... no such commission, eh? Then, is one to assume that you are merely a band of ordinary, commonplace pirates, eh?" ...
— Two Gallant Sons of Devon - A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess • Harry Collingwood

... pretty face, I decree that, for the future, you wear a yashmak to cover up your lips, which, I can see, were meant to be seductive, though dirty; and you can leave the blue eyes, and the little white-skinned freckled nose uncovered, if you like, they being commonplace enough. Meantime, if you care to see how to draw a palace—I will ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... deeply wounded in the most sensitive part, but while admitting his weakness in yielding to a commonplace temptation, he could make no excuse for Carrissima's scandalous libel. An hour ago, she had been the only woman in the world for him; as to Bridget—well, the old Adam had cropped out for an instant. To account for his vulnerability one ...
— Enter Bridget • Thomas Cobb

... and images which, later on, were to burst forth into fiery and boiling metaphors in the Confessions, and in his homilies and paraphrases of Holy Scripture. Later on, he will not have the time to observe, or he will have lost the power. Rhetoric will stretch its commonplace veil between him and the unceasing springtide of the earth. Ambition will turn him away from those sights which reveal themselves only to hearts unselfish and indifferent. Then, later on, Faith will seize hold of him to the ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... will be given, to be favored of the gods in a way that the possessor of untold wealth cannot aspire to—this is what gives the serene and joyous mood, which characterizes the man of genius for the most part. When he comes out of this ideal world into the commonplace every-day life, and realizes his unfitness for it, the other side of the picture is presented to his consciousness, and then is exhibited that strange melancholy, Weltschmerz, which constantly comes to the fore in the journals and letters of men like ...
— Beethoven • George Alexander Fischer

... Israelites (though it failed often to do so) in the attitude of constant dependence, is the condition in which we all have to live, though we mask it from ourselves. That we do not know what lies before us is a commonplace. The same long tracts of monotonous continuance in the same place and doing the same duties befall us that befell these men. Years pass, and the pillar spreads itself out, a defence above the unmoving sanctuary. ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers • Alexander Maclaren

... nature of her grief sufficiently indicated by the wringing of her hands, and the convulsive agitation of the bosom, which the covering could not conceal. Two of her gossips, officiously whispering into her ear the commonplace topic of resignation under irremediable misfortune, seemed as if they were endeavouring to stun the grief which they ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... us, "to have, say, not less than two glasses of wine after dinner. Six on ordinary occasions is perhaps too many; but as to three or four, they are neither one way nor the other." If the voluptuary was condemned, it was for the commonplace reason which a hedonist, too, might invoke, that a life of pleasure soon palls and becomes unpleasant. Bradley's objection to pleasure was merely speculative: he found it too "abstract". To call a pleasure ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... choose to plunge out of life like that? A sudden end at the moment of victory has always been the commonplace of human desire. When the antique sage was asked to select the happiest man in history, his choice fell on one whose destiny resembled that of the Member for Crewe; for Tellus the Athenian had lived a full and well-contented ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... looked at Hyacinth, his neighbour at dinner, with such obvious appreciation, that her gaiety became infectious. In the little panelled dining-room which, like all the house, was neither commonplace nor bizarre, but simple and distinguished, floated an atmosphere of delightful ...
— Love's Shadow • Ada Leverson

... a little from her hauteur and condescended to address a few commonplace remarks to him. But at length her eyes flashed ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... proved to be. No suburban villa could have been more commonplace and less disturbed than was their dwelling for twenty-seven nights of every month, but on the twenty-eighth they found a change of air desirable. Once it is true the stalwart Thomas, like Ajax, defied the lightning, or rather other things that come from above—or from below. But before ...
— Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales • Henry Rider Haggard

... such a passage is to translate it into some trivial, insignificant commonplace. Thus, we are told, our doctrine only means that "God does not approve a man merely for going through a routine of outward, formal ceremonies, but for a thoroughly religious life." This explanation assumes that the apostle ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... he insisted. "What I say is true. I'm grateful to you for violently injecting romance into my perfectly commonplace existence. You have taken the book of my life and not only extra illustrated it with vivid and chromatic pictures, but you have unbound it, sewed into its prosaic pages several chapters ripped bodily from a penny-dreadful, and you have then rebound the whole thing and pasted your own pretty ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... continued to tell stories and to compose poems. No doubt the Icelanders have thus wasted on poetical fantasies and visionary daydreams much of the energy that they might otherwise have used in life's real battle. But the greyness of commonplace existence became more bearable when they listened to tales of the heroic deeds of the past. In the evening, the living-room (bastofa), built of turf and stone, became a little more cheerful, and hunger was forgotten, while a member of the household read, or sang, about far-away knights ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... slipped into some branch waterway while we were not looking," he said, speaking calmly, as if it were the most commonplace thing imaginable. ...
— Frank Merriwell Down South • Burt L. Standish

... and burlesque, the license allowed playwright and actor increases so radically that we have a difference of kind rather than of degree. Certain conventions of course are common to all types. The "missing fourth side" of the room is a commonplace recognized by all. If we ourselves are never in the habit of communicating the contents of our letters, as we write, to a doubtless appreciative atmosphere, we never cavil at such an act on the stage. The ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • Wilton Wallace Blancke

... tell you nothing of the village doings here, the little church sociables and a thousand commonplace details that go to make up the sum of existence amid such surroundings? It is because I do not really live among them. My mind is alien to these narrow margins of society and religion. But it is always of ...
— The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance • Paul Elmer More

... Scotland in the immediately following years, observations on public affairs in 1669- 70, and a chronicle of events connected with the Court of Session from 1668 to 1676; also at the other end of the volume some accounts of expenses. The third[3] may be described as a commonplace book, for the most part written during the first years of his practice at the bar and his early married life, but it also contains some notes of travel in Fife, the Lothians, and the Merse in continuation of those in MS. H., and a list of the books which he ...
— Publications of the Scottish History Society, Vol. 36 • Sir John Lauder

... commonplace cart creature with a bad cough. It was a chronic cough, and in course of time its tuggings took her on a very long journey. She passed away, assisted towards the end with a cruel yet compassionate bullet, for in my agitation I made a fluky shot. She died on the beach, and as the tide rose we floated ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... instinct with energy, and topped with its massive head. In voice and gesture and manner, Douglas was incomparably the superior, as he was, too, in the ready command of a language never, indeed, ornate or imaginative, and sometimes of the quality of political commonplace, but always forcible and always intelligible to his audience. Lincoln had the sense of words, the imagination, the intensity of feeling, which go to the making of great literature; but for his masterpieces he always needed time. His voice was high and strained, ...
— Stephen Arnold Douglas • William Garrott Brown

... a marriage, I don't know what I say.' But one might quote for ever. Witwoud, almost as much as Millamant herself, is an eternal type. His little exclamations, his assurance of sympathy, his terror of the commonplace—surely one knows them well? His tolerance of any impertinence, lest he should be thought to have misunderstood a jest, is a great distinction. But Congreve's gibe in the dedication at the critics, who failed 'to distinguish betwixt ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... behind his screen saw nothing of this play of the emotions. He returned nonchalantly to his station, and asked, in commonplace tones: ...
— A Rock in the Baltic • Robert Barr

... again. "Oh, I am so tired of having people look at me and shrug and whisper. I am so tired of having this abnormal thing reflected in the eyes of all my visitors. I wish I could become commonplace—without the slightest thing queer about me. Sometimes I feel like taking a dose of ...
— The Tyranny of the Dark • Hamlin Garland

... study as is here suggested, because its story lies under the eyes of history. 'Twas scarcely an hour ago, in the world's day, since Columbus found out this continent, and, with a giant's hand, swung its huge doors inward for the centuries to enter; and all those discoveries are our commonplace knowledge. What tribes were here, Prescott and Parkman have told us in thrilling narratives; and columns of eager colonists we have seen press their way along the seashore, into forests, over mountains, across deserts, never halting, save ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... amusing to read about "Kipps" and those commonplace people whom Mr. H.G. Wells describes so cleverly, but to have to live with them in barracks ...
— At Suvla Bay • John Hargrave

... His mother's voice flew along and past his ear, kissing it in gentle remonstrance as it went by. But baby was in eager pursuit of something, and the call, if heard, was unheeded. His eyes were opening world-ward, and every new phenomenon—commonplace and unheeded by us—that addressed itself to his senses, became a wonder and a delight. Some new object was drawing him away from the loving heart and ...
— After a Shadow, and Other Stories • T. S. Arthur

... instantly on their hind-feet, propping themselves against her waist. Lennan held the black horse—a bizarre little beast, all fire and whipcord, with a skin like satin, liquid eyes, very straight hocks, and a thin bang-tail reaching down to them. The little creature had none of those commonplace good looks so discouraging ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... distinguish myself in any way, nor (though I think I was rather liked than otherwise) make any great or lasting friendships; on the other hand. I did not in any way disgrace myself, nor make a single enemy that I knew of. Except that I grew our of the common tall and very strong, a more commonplace boy than I must have seemed (after my artistic vein gad run itself dry) never went to a public school. So much for ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... low, nay, in spite of the want of wood (the great and usual recommendation of level tracts of land), there is a charm about them which strikes even the inhabitant of a mountainous district, who sees and feels the effect of contrast in these commonplace but thoroughly rural fields, with the busy, bustling manufacturing town he left but half-an-hour ago. Here and there an old black and white farmhouse, with its rambling outbuildings, speaks of other times and other occupations than those ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... (than that of reverence to her mother's name). Strange enough, this pupil of mine is unique in her speech and deportment, and in no way like any ordinary young lady. But considering that her mother was no commonplace woman herself, it is natural that she should have given birth to such a child. Besides, knowing, as I do now, that she is the granddaughter of the Jung family, it is no matter of surprise to me that she is what ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... precisely what I don't wish you to talk. You know what is commonplace, and therefore you can avoid it. Never mind his school or his date. What did the man want to express here, and how far do you think he has succeeded? That's the main thing; I wish a few critics ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... I stared motionless I do not know. Finally, I was aroused by my syce taking the Waler's bridle and asking whether I was ill. From the horrible to the commonplace is but a step. I tumbled off my horse and dashed, half fainting, into Peliti's for a glass of cherry-brandy. There two or three couples were gathered round the coffee-tables discussing the gossip of the day. Their trivialities were more comforting to me just then than the consolations of ...
— Indian Tales • Rudyard Kipling

... scarcely metre, certainly not poetry. Later epicists in their desire to avoid this fault over elaborate their commonplace passages. Ennius tries, however clumsily, to copy Homer in dismissing them without ornament. The one or two similes that are preserved are among his least happy efforts. [7] Among battle scenes he is more at home, and these he paints with ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... She was not only not excited but she was not exciting. She was plainly dressed in skirt and shirtwaist of no distinction, her foot-gear was of the most ordinary, and well worn, and her face under a hat of no allure was without make-up, a commonplace, somewhat anxious face with lines about the eyes. But her voice as well as her eyes helped ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... events, outside of memories and dreams, my prison life has also its joys. These consist in the letters I receive from Serge and Aunt Vera. The former are full of a forced gaiety, short and commonplace, for the prison regulations forbid prisoners to write on other subjects save their health, clothes, and books, and they are all read by a constabulary ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... next evening in Buckland's rooms, not far from the Houses of Parliament. Commonplace comfort was the note of these quarters. Peak wondered that a man who had it in his power to surround himself with evidences of taste should be content to dwell thus. His host seemed to detect this thought in the ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... that would have been quite easy, and there would have been no excitement, or call upon their skill and energy. There was nothing to be gained by climbing up the stone—nothing to see, nothing to find out; but there was the inclination to satisfy that commonplace form of excelsiorism which tempts so many to try and get to the top. So the boys sat there, thoughtfully gazing out to sea, while the dog, after a good many howls, gave it up for a bad job, curled himself into ...
— Sappers and Miners - The Flood beneath the Sea • George Manville Fenn

... detail of the establishment, or they may become a party to a series of cruelties, that may break the spirit, and, perhaps, shorten the life of their children. Unfortunately, the most promising minds are those that soonest yield to the effect of harsh discipline. The phlegmatic, the dull, and the commonplace vegetate easily through this state of probation. The blight that will destroy the rose, passes ever harmlessly over the tough and ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... public whipping-post. The canons have not varied one iota for ages; if authors merely reflect the ordinary normal aspect of society, without melodramatic exaggeration or ludicrous caricature, they are voted trite, humdrum, commonplace, and live no longer than their contemporaries. If they venture a step in advance, and attempt to lead, to lift up the masses, or to elevate the standard of thought and extend its range, they are scoffed at as pedants, and ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... literature the book of Job alone introduces a spirit into the scene and reports its speech without utterly breaking down into the disaster of the commonplace. ...
— Christ, Christianity and the Bible • I. M. Haldeman

... using the plant and animal world as object lessons in teaching our children the facts of sex and the secrets of life; while we face the commonplace sex matings of the animals about us without cringing, without appearing to be shocked when our children call attention to these things; nevertheless, when the child is old enough to take cognizance of these phenomena, he is old enough to begin to receive some definite instruction from his parents ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... savored rather of gift than grace; and dealt more often with the few than with the many—with the great souls that reared themselves to heaven like Alpine summits touched with the fires of dawn, rather than with the generality of men, who dwelt in the valley of daily commonplace, enwrapped in the mists of ignorance and unbelief. It was to be the special prerogative of this age, that He should be poured out on all flesh, so that sons and daughters should prophesy, whilst servants and handmaidens participated ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... was felt to be the signal for the dissolution of the great party of which he was the founder. In words worthy to be recalled, "when the tidings came like wailing over the State that Harry Percy's spur was cold, the chivalrous felt somehow the world had grown commonplace." ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... ourselves ordinary men and women, it is really human interest, and not sensational circumstance which appeals to us, and that material for enthralling drama can be found in the life of the most commonplace person—of a middle-aged shopkeeper threatened with bankruptcy, or of an elderly musician with a weakness for good dinners. At one blow he destroyed the unreal ideal of the Romantic School, who degraded ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... shawl-like pattern, in which the prevailing colour was red. Underneath was a petticoat of dark blue quilted silk. Her commode was brightened by blue ribbons; she wore no mittens; and her shoe-buckles rivalled those of her grandmother. Rhoda's figure was good, but her face was commonplace. She was neither pretty nor ugly, neither intellectual nor stupid-looking. Of course she wore powder (as also did Madam); but if her hair had been released from its influence, it would have been perceived that there was about ...
— The Maidens' Lodge - None of Self and All of Thee, (In the Reign of Queen Anne) • Emily Sarah Holt

... members of parliament. He was not a man of refined bearing or mental cultivation; as a public speaker he was ungainly in manner, his pronunciation common and provincial, his voice monotonous, and his style dry and commonplace; but he was serviceable, practical, pertinent, experienced; and the soundness of his judgment, and the weight of his character, gave force to what he said. His son, Matthew Baines, Esq., a barrister, became a member of the cabinet, and another son, Edward, became proprietor of the Leeds ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... h: Rogers was a member of the University of Oxford, and a large commonplace-book in his handwriting is in Archbishop Tenison's library ...
— The Private Diary of Dr. John Dee - And the Catalog of His Library of Manuscripts • John Dee

... pupil of Bonifazio who employed the grand Venetian manner in the humbler and more commonplace walks of life, and neglecting alike the Sacra Conversazione and the pompous scenes of festivity, developed into the first Italian painter of genre. This was JACOPO DA PONTE, called from his birthplace BASSANO, who was working in Venice under Bonifazio as ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... corner, hidden by the pillars of a portico, the water dripping from his rain-coat, Ford gazed long and anxiously at the blank windows of the three houses. Like blind eyes staring into his, they told no tales, betrayed no secret. Around him the commonplace life of the neighborhood proceeded undisturbed. Somewhere concealed in the single row of houses a girl was imprisoned, her life threatened; perhaps even at that moment she was facing her death. While, on either side, shut ...
— The Lost House • Richard Harding Davis

... best part of my story,' said Ireton at length. 'What followed is commonplace. Still, you might like to hear how I bridged the gulf, from fourteen shillings a week to the position I now hold. Well, I got very intimate with Crowther, and found him really a very decent fellow. He had a good many irons in the fire. Besides ...
— The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories • George Gissing

... of Mr. Rudyard Kipling; and when I once remarked on his repulsive little masterpiece called "The Mark of the Beast," to a rather cynical Anglo-Indian officer, he observed moodily, "It's a beastly story. But those devils really can do jolly queer things." It is but to take a commonplace example out of countless more notable ones to mention the many witnesses to the mango trick. Here again we have from time to time to weep over the weak-mindedness that hurriedly dismisses it as the practice of hypnotism. It is as ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... the commonplace national enterprise the common run will do very well. Any populace imbued with a reasonable measure of patriotism will serve as ways and means to warlike enterprise under competent management, even if it is ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... envelope and read—an invitation to lunch from his uncle, Edward of England, and a request to bring his august colleagues with him to talk matters over. There was no hint of battle, victory or defeat. It was a quite commonplace letter, but all the same it was one of those triumphs of diplomacy which only the first diplomatist in Europe knew how to achieve. Then he too laughed as he folded up the letter and went to ...
— The World Peril of 1910 • George Griffith

... if it were the most commonplace matter that he was telling, "I told them that my brother tried to kill me ...
— Roy Blakeley in the Haunted Camp • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... Pantagruelian serenity; a serenity produced by no crude optimism but by some happy inward knowledge of a neglected hope. The great Rabelaisian motto, "bon espoir y gist au fond!" seems to emanate from the most wistful and poignant of his pages. He pities the unpitied, he redeems the commonplace, he makes the ordinary as if it were not ordinary, and by the sheer genius of his imagination he throws an indescribable glamour over the "little things" of the ...
— One Hundred Best Books • John Cowper Powys

... certainly at the Quinisext, A. D. 692, Canon 2. In the West the canons were of importance as having been used by Dionysius Exiguus in his collection. That the Canon of Holy Scripture was settled at this council is a traditional commonplace in theology, but hardly borne out by the facts. The council only drew up one of the several imperfect lists of sacred books which appeared in antiquity. The following canons show the influx of heathenism into the Church, resulting from the changed status ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... proud possessor of a pair of red shoes, which I carried rolled up in my 'kerchief while we walked the two miles. We stopped in the woods; my feet were denuded of their commonplace attire and arrayed in white hose, beautifully clocked, and those precious slices, and my poor conscience tortured about my vanity. The girls also exchanged theirs for morocco slippers. We concealed our walking shoes under a mossy log and proceeded ...
— Half a Century • Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm

... speculative, Roosevelt felt an instinctive antagonism. One of his most characteristic utterances is the address delivered at the Sorbonne, April 30, 1910, "Citizenship in a Republic." Here, amidst a good deal of moral commonplace—wise and sensible for the most part, but sufficiently platitudinous—occurs a burst of angry eloquence. For he was always at his strongest when scolding somebody. His audience included the intellectual elite of France; and he warns it against the besetting ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... in silence for some time and when, later on, they began to talk again it was on ordinary commonplace topics, by mutual consent avoiding any by-way that might lead them back to individual matters. The depths which had been momentarily stirred settled down once more into ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... category No. 2, little more than very equivocal sophisms, which savored strongly of commonplace opinions, were presented. It was pretended, for instance, that he who signed a bond was in equity bound to pay it; that, if he refused, the other party had the natural and legal remedy of compulsion; that it might not always be convenient for a creditor to pay ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... unnecessary activity which betokens the excitement of a holiday. What a strange holiday was his! He got into a smoking-carriage in order to be alone, and he looked out on the people who were bidding their friends good-bye. Some of them were not very pretty, many of them were ordinary, insignificant, commonplace-looking folks, but it was clear that they had those about them who loved them and thought much of them. There was one man whom, in other circumstances, Lavender would have dismissed with contempt as an excellent specimen of the unmitigated cad. He wore a white waistcoat, purple ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... describes itself under the big name of Society, by the announcement of a party to be given by Lady Loring, bearing the quaint title of a Sandwich Dance. The invitations were issued at an unusually early hour; and it was understood that nothing so solid and so commonplace as the customary supper was to be offered to the guests. In a word, Lady Loring's ball was designed as a bold protest against late hours and heavy midnight meals. The younger people were all in favor of the proposed reform. Their elders declined to ...
— The Black Robe • Wilkie Collins

... languid and not too condescending civility upon the party by passing them, when Michel was absent, the salt, the butter, the bread, and other commonplace condiments. Presently I withdrew, that my absence might make me desired. Before I did so, however, I took pains, by the exhibition of the "New York Herald" in my hands, to show that my ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... effort to him even to keep up the appearance of listening to me; and when, at last, I fairly broke down in the middle of a sentence, and gave up the hope of getting any further, all the answer he gave me was comprised in these few civil commonplace words: ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... not seen the former interest between himself and Ellen lapse to commonplace acquaintance without due sense of loss. He suffered justly, but he did not suffer passively, or without several attempts to regain the higher ground. In spite of these he was aware of being distinctly kept to the level which he accused himself ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... satires showing undoubted but undeveloped poetical gifts, a collection of which, containing however many pieces not from his pen, was first published by Tom Brown in 1704; while a few extracts from a commonplace book of Buckingham of some interest are given in an article in the Quarterly Review of January 1898. He was the author of The Rehearsal, an amusing and clever satire on the heroic drama and especially on Dryden (first performed on the 7th of December 1671, at the Theatre Royal, and first ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... national army, by turning upon it the high illumination of the Psalms of David, is always so daring that it is enough to make a philologian run up a wall. But what shall he do when pietists and other such cows from Suabia[25] use the "finger of God" to convert their miserably commonplace and huggermugger existence into a miracle of "grace," a "providence" and an "experience of salvation"? The most modest exercise of the intellect, not to say of decency, should certainly be enough to convince these interpreters of the perfect childishness and unworthiness of such ...
— The Antichrist • F. W. Nietzsche

... contained in that form has gone back to the universal life, and will express itself again in some higher and better form. To think of God in this way is an inspiration and a help in the doing of the humblest tasks. It redeems life from the dominion of the sordid and commonplace. It supplies an incentive to endeavour, and fills the heart with hope and confidence. To put it in homely, everyday phraseology, God is getting at something and we must help Him. We must be His eyes and hands and feet; we must be labourers together with Him. This fits in with what science has ...
— The New Theology • R. J. Campbell

... he is started on his journey, like a little historical memory, or challenging comparison with some hero of fact or fable. Perhaps Milton Spinks grows up bow-legged and commonplace—all Spinks and no Milton. As plain John he would pass through life happy and unnoticed, but the great name of Milton hangs about him like a jest from which he can never escape—no, not even in the ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... which I might have dwelt and illustrated by many instances is this, that though Stevenson was fond of hob-nobbing with all sorts and conditions of men, this desire of wide contact and intercourse has little show in his novels—the ordinary fibre of commonplace human beings not receiving much celebration from him there; another case in which his private bent and sympathies received little illustration in his novels. But the fact lies implicit in ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... could not afford to use unguents and keep their dead till the third day; they could not afford real cypress trees, but must use cheaper substitutes, if anything at all. They could not afford all the processionists and paraphernalia of the undertaker, but must be satisfied with four commonplace bearers, who hurried away the corpse in the evening, not on a couch but in a cheap box, and carried it out to the common necropolis beyond the Esquiline Gate. Seldom could they afford the fuel to burn the body, and in many cases it must simply be thrown into a pit roughly dug and there ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... few more commonplace remarks, Walter bade his father and mother good night, and ascended to his chamber, carrying ...
— The Pastor's Son • William W. Walter

... have about recovered my usual strength, but of course I must be careful and not get excited or overworked, though my work I am sorry to say, does not amount to much." After a few moments commonplace conversation, Mrs. ...
— The Right Knock - A Story • Helen Van-Anderson

... broke up the one dense, grey, heavy cloud into portions which floated slowly along, separating more and more, the dull grey growing rapidly silvery, then golden, and the gold becoming suffused with soft light. So beautiful was the scene that, while Archie gazed thoughtfully at its beauty, even commonplace, powder-besmirched Peter sat with his lips apart, staring hard, and then, forgetting himself and their risky position, with its need for concealment, he clapped his ...
— Trapped by Malays - A Tale of Bayonet and Kris • George Manville Fenn

... mind is so constructed that merely to name a thing oddly smooths its unwonted outlines to the grasp of the mind; the conception of a simple reversal of my brother's weight, I think, saved us all from the padded cell. That made it so commonplace, such an everyday sort of thing, likely to happen to anybody. The ordinary phenomenon of gravitation is no whit more mysterious, in all truth, than that which we were now witnessing—but ...
— Disowned • Victor Endersby

... individual by the crowd is not certainly a constant rule, but it is a rule frequently observed. It is even observed in circumstances much less grave than those I have just cited. I have remarked that in the theatre a crowd exacts from the hero of the piece exaggerated virtues, and it is a commonplace observation that an assembly, even though composed of inferior elements, shows itself as a rule very prudish. The debauchee, the souteneur, the rough often break out into murmurs at a slightly risky scene or expression, though ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... to that sly puss of an agent's daughter, that, in a melancholy sort of way, he offers her his hand, which she, the artful little hussy of a Becky Sharp, with considerable affectation of coyness, accepts, and down goes the Curtain upon as unsatisfactory and commonplace a termination to a good Melodrama as any Philistine of the Philistines could possibly wish. It would have been a human tragedy indeed had poor Gooseberry poisoned himself, and the girl whose life he had saved had arrived just too late, only to die ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100., Jan. 31, 1891 • Various

... and inconvenient rubbish of which I am half ashamed. I never felt more keenly or heavily the immeasurable distance between earth and heaven than now, when after the day has been spent in listening to the plausibilities of commonplace politicians, I open my Bible at night. It is going from ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... not possibly be regarded as an ordinary woman, as a mere commonplace, shack-bred, pretty girl. Down through the years had come a strain of effectiveness which she inherited in its full strength; she was as inexplicable as Abraham Lincoln. Her stress of mind relieved, she regarded the shooting of the ...
— The River Prophet • Raymond S. Spears

... cry escaped her. The whole world seemed to be a sea of wildly tossing water. The Missouri! But surely, not the Missouri as she had remembered it—this wild roaring flood! The river they had crossed a year ago on Long Bill's flat-boat had been a very commonplace stream, flowing smoothly between its ...
— Prairie Flowers • James B. Hendryx

... notions regarding appropriate scenery, language, and costume in sundry periods and divers places, from China to Peru; and he was persecuted by that mortal foe of the old romancer, the well-informed critic, who trampled even upon a commonplace book well filled with references to standard authorities, insisting upon careful study of the whole environment, the dexterous incorporation of details, and delicate blending of local colours. Severe pedagogic handling ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... a sideboard, and filling a glass carried it to Wogan. The liquor was brandy. Wogan drank it as though it had been so much water. He was in that condition of fatigue when the most extraordinary events seem altogether commonplace and natural. But as he felt the spirit warming his blood, he became aware of the great difference between his battered appearance and that of the old gentleman with the rich dress and the white linen who stooped so hospitably above him, and he began to wonder at the readiness ...
— Clementina • A.E.W. Mason

... The long, almost unbearable pause that followed was broken by a commonplace remark, and the conversation kept in that vein by mutual consent. For, when the inner life is throbbing fast and strong, intimate expression becomes impossible. And above these two men, chatting about the trivial things ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... silently wondering at this phenomenon so astounding, yet a commonplace of masculine egotism. She had no conception of this vanity which causes the man, at whom the street woman smiles, to feel flattered, though he knows full well what she is and her dire necessity. She could not doubt that he was speaking the truth, yet she could ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... said. "The epitome of the commonplace. She looks like some of the queer old American women one sees in the National Gallery with Baedekers in their hands and bags at their belts; fat, sallow, provincial, with defective grammar and horrible twangs; the kind of American, you know," said Miss Scrotton, warming to her ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... that," said his lordship slowly. "He related it... oh, just as a commonplace, an instance of ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... standpoint of the younger members of the educated class of to-day is easily discoverable. The word God used in their English compositions or speeches, plainly implies a person. The commonplace of the anxious student is that the pass desired, the failure feared, is dependent upon the will of God—language manifestly not pantheistic. Religious expressions, we may remark, are natural to ...
— New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century - A Study of Social, Political, and Religious Developments • John Morrison

... the stereoscopic illusions which made his father's life solid, he could not continue to exist. His point of view was hopelessly cosmic. All was equally great and mysterious? Yes; but all was equally small and commonplace. Kant's Starry Infinite Without? Bah! Mere lumps of mud going round in a tee-totum dance, and getting hot over it; no more than the spinning of specks in a drop of dirty water. Size was nothing in itself. There were mountains and seas ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... manufacturers from St. Louis, had made matters worse. Such wealth!—such careless, vulgar, easily gotten wealth!—heaped up by means that seemed to the outsider so facile, and were, in truth, for all but a small minority, so difficult. A commonplace man and a frivolous woman; yet possessed, through their mere money, of a power over life and its experiences, such as he, Faversham, might strive for all his days and never come near. It might be ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... universal an experience a Secret Story and a Secret Friend may be. Perhaps this wonder is a commonplace to you, only you are more reticent about it than Jay or I. But to me, even after twenty years' intimacy with what I can only describe as a supplementary life that I cannot describe, it still seems so very wonderful that I cannot believe I share it with every man ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson

... somewhat on his descriptive powers he realized that he could not do his best work on minute canvases. We have already seen how he contrasted himself with Jane Austen. "The exquisite touch," he said, "which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... just after Ware had departed, Graham found Paula still seated at the piano, an expression of rapt dreaming on her face. She regarded him almost unrecognizingly, gathered herself mechanically together, uttered an absent-minded commonplace or so, and left the room. Despite his vexation and hurt, Graham tried to think it mere artist-dreaming on her part, a listening to the echo of the just-played music in her soul. But women were curious creatures, he could not help moralizing, ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... articles on 'Where is France at?' with monographs in the leading reviews every month on 'Why I am what I am,' and all such stuff as that, I'd have condensed my career into one or two years, and ended by having my head divorced from my shoulders in a most commonplace fashion. Taciturnity is a big thing when you know how to work it, and so is proneness to irritability. The latter keeps you from making friends, and I didn't want any friends just then. They were luxuries which I couldn't afford. You have to lend money to friends; ...
— Mr. Bonaparte of Corsica • John Kendrick Bangs

... into a kind of Japanese idol. Their understanding was perfect. In season and out of season Zizine consulted Francis with a look, and Francis seemed to take his ideas from Zizine's eyes. They frowned and smiled together, and seemingly took counsel of each other before making the simplest commonplace remark. ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... was plainly wondering at the man's peculiar enthusiasm for these most commonplace things. "The roping? Why, that was no more than we're doing all ...
— When A Man's A Man • Harold Bell Wright

... of Character Character Forming Man the Final Earth Product Superstitions Self-Justice Symbolism Love Ideals of Love The Needs of Woman Man versus Woman Natural Cruelty of the Undeveloped The Worst Sin Reincarnation Processes of Reincarnation Education of Children Egotism Responsiveness Hell The Commonplace Petroleum Law Communism Happiness Pain Foes in the Household The Inner Life Root of Evils Rest in Change Miserliness Special Providence Human Destiny Ethical Law Human Life Animal Likeness Natural Superstition Adaptiveness of Man Devil Worship Fanaticism Truth Christs Hero Worship ...
— Insights and Heresies Pertaining to the Evolution of the Soul • Anna Bishop Scofield

... to those who have read with unwavering credulity the olden tales of the prowess and achievements of knights errant in the days of chivalry, that one should stop to relate such a commonplace incident as the shooting of a wolf, and above all, that the hero of this narrative, should betray, even to his horse, such a decided emotion of self admiration for having performed the feat. Such a trifle would not indeed be worth mentioning ...
— Adele Dubois - A Story of the Lovely Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick • Mrs. William T. Savage

... apparently so, for to speak truly, he was never alone. An equerry, a page-in-waiting,—or what was still more commonplace as well as ominous, a detective,—lurked about him, ever near, ever ready to spring on any unknown intruder, or to answer ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... is an ideal to which this type adheres with almost religious zeal. He likes the commonplace things and is never a follower after "the thing" though he has no prejudices against it, as the ...
— How to Analyze People on Sight - Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types • Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

... of sweet incense in the temple of the ideals is not necessarily incompatible with a just regard for the commonplace realities. In the aftermath of the fine artistic glow, Griswold found himself straightway wrestling with the problem of present safety. If Miss Farnham had recognized him, his chances of escape had suddenly narrowed down to flight, immediate and speedy. He must leave ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... to take advantage of these periods of divination, he used to write down the thoughts that came to him at such times. From boyhood onward he kept journals and commonplace books, and in the course of his reading and meditation he collected innumerable notes and quotations which he indexed for ready use. In these mines he "quarried," as Mr. Cabot says, for his lectures and essays. When he needed a lecture he went to the repository, threw ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... next in age to Pamela, though so many years lay between them, a hundred petty cares fell on her girlish shoulders, and tried her patience greatly with their weight, sometimes. And in the hard family struggle for everyday necessities there was too much of commonplace reality to admit of much poetry. The wearisome battling with life's needs had left the mother, as it leaves thousands of women, haggard, careworn, and not too smooth in disposition. There was no romance about her. She had fairly ...
— Theo - A Sprightly Love Story • Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett

... technical knowledge may be so great as to debar him from meeting other men in conversation on equal grounds; but his reading of the Bible gives his speech or writing a background, a colour, a metaphorical strength, which illuminate even the commonplace. Strike the Bible from the sphere of any man's experience and he is in a measure left out of much of that conversation which helps to make ...
— Confessions of a Book-Lover • Maurice Francis Egan

... thanked and blessed her again, with the tears in his eyes, and left her more disturbed and tearful than she had ever been since she grew to woman. "O cruel poverty!" she thought, "that such a man should be torn from his home, and thank me for doing it—all for a little money—and here are we poor commonplace creatures rolling ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... have not been led to suspect, and which only make a passing and momentary mark. Bossuet's talk of universal history, which has been so constantly praised, was fundamentally, and in substance, no more than a bit of theological commonplace splendidly decorated. He did indeed speak of 'the concatenation of human affairs,' but only in the same sentence with 'the sequence of the counsels of God.' The gorgeous rhetorician of the Church was not likely to rise philosophically into the ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 2 of 3) - Turgot • John Morley

... and pureness is surely the wrong word; and yet it is better than mere commonplace. Perhaps what oftenest turns the balance in Dryden's favor, when we are weighing his claims as a poet, is his persistent capability of enthusiasm. To the last he kindles, and sometimes almost flashes out that supernatural light which is the supreme test of poetic ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... and warm, with a sun shining amiably on the rather commonplace old town. I had risen betimes that I might go and get a Spanish melon for my breakfast, but at eight o'clock I found the fruiterer's locked and barred against me. I lingered and hungered for the melons which I saw ...
— Seven English Cities • W. D. Howells

... warmed to his work before, he warmed still more after this. Miss Alicia was drawn into it again, and followed his fanciful plans with a new fervor. They were like two children who had played at make- believe until they had lost sight of commonplace realities. ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... nothing. James K. Polk and James C. Jones led the van of stump orators in Tennessee, Ben Hardin, John J. Crittenden and John C. Breckenridge in Kentucky. Tradition still has stories to tell of their exploits and prowess, their wit and eloquence, even their commonplace sayings and doings. They were marked men who never failed to captivate their audiences. The system of stump oratory had many advantages as a public force and was both edifying and educational. There were a few conspicuous writers for the ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... real conflict of wills, only of events, and the lover's conversion to a useful life by means of poverty is cheap, and the ending commonplace. On the whole, the stimulating exhortation to will and work is run into a mold ...
— Heath's Modern Language Series: Mariucha • Benito Perez Galdos

... you see, the horse and armor was only a frame, an accidental setting, for the romance itself! It's up to date and practical and sordid and commonplace, you'd say, that puffing thing with a gasoline engine hidden away in its bowels. It's what we call machinery. But, supposing, now, instead of holding Monsieur le Duc Somebody, or Milord So-and-So, or Signor Comte Somebody-Else, with his wife or his mistress—I say, supposing it held—well, ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... beg the reader to remember, were after the fashion of the time and scarcely more than commonplace. The fairer portion of humanity had even then perfected that sovereignty over the males which in our own day is so very observable. So, instead of replying in a tone indicating surprise, the ...
— The Youth of Jefferson - A Chronicle of College Scrapes at Williamsburg, in Virginia, A.D. 1764 • Anonymous

... we reached towards noon, is a commonplace city on the Rhone; and my only reasons for traversing its dirty streets in preference to taking the road, which passes without the walls, were—to get something for dinner, and because it might have been the birth-place ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... wrote: "No author without a trial can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor any thing but a commonplace prosperity in broad and simple daylight." And yet it may {465} be doubted whether any environment could have been found more fitted to his peculiar genius than this of his native town, or any preparation ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... at Kieff by our young and high-spirited friend, and died of her wounds. Here are particulars of a bank robbery organized five years ago by a number of people who called themselves anarchists, but who were in reality very commonplace, conventional thieves unpossessed of any respect for human life. But I see this does not ...
— The Secret House • Edgar Wallace

... of that interview been different,—had he distinctly stated, or even vaguely hinted, that it would be as well if I should select some other topic, or had he only sprinkled me with the cold water of conventional and commonplace encouragement,—I should have gone from him with a chill upon my mind, and, no doubt, have laid down the pen at once; for, as I have already said, it was not that I cared about writing a history, but that I felt an inevitable impulse to write ...
— Memoir of John Lothrop Motley, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... and he sees no reason why he should. And the next day it is much the same for him. He gets up as early as he ever did, and he is likely to do a few odd bits of work that his father has not had time to come to. He talks with his mother and the girls of all sorts of little, commonplace things, and with his father he discusses the affairs of the community. And in the evening he strolls down town again, and exchanges a few words with friends, and learns, perhaps, of boys who haven't been lucky ...
— A Minstrel In France • Harry Lauder

... his clasp, uttering, as she did so, a flippant commonplace in response to his hearty greeting, but Claire had caught the look in his eyes, and the false gayety in Madeline's voice, and ...
— Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter • Lawrence L. Lynch

... such institutions, distinct original societies may come to be inside the great commonplace world. Here special personalities may find the only existence that suits them. If devout or laborious, not only do these afford an outlet for the deeper needs of conscience, of the imagination, of activity, and of discipline, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 1 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... was much indebted to his predecessors, and that he often imitated Ramsay and Fergusson, and borrowed liberally from the old ballads, is by no means to derogate from his genius. If he took, he gave with interest. The most commonplace songs, after they had, as he said, "got a brushing" from his hands, assumed a totally different aspect. Each ballad was merely a piece of canvas, on which he inscribed his inimitable paintings. Sometimes even by a single word he proclaimed ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume IV. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... royalty goes, the sole daughter, the sole child indeed of the house, a girl who had no idea of life except as a place in which to have a serenely good time, and teach everybody to do as she desired them to. Money was a commonplace matter-of-course article, neither to be particularly prized nor despised; it was convenient, of course, and must be an annoyance when one had to do without it; but of that, by practical experience, she knew nothing. Yet Ruth was by no means a "pink-and-white" girl without character; on ...
— Four Girls at Chautauqua • Pansy

... commonplace, yet her cheeks wore an angry flush beneath their sun-burn; and I knew why. Her insult had miscarried. In accepting this humiliation I had somehow mastered her: even the tone she used, level and matter-of-fact, she used perforce, in place of the high scorn with which she had ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... without illusions What would our lives become, what we ourselves? Dreams or illusions, call them what you will, They lift us from the commonplace ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... popular religion in England," says Professor Granger, "seems to be coming to the limits of its power, is that it has contented itself so largely with the commonplace motives which, after all, find sufficient exercise in the ordinary duties of life." Here, again, is a curious obtuseness to a plain but important truth. With what else should a healthy religion associate itself but the ordinary motives or feelings of human ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... his introduction; and he carries in himself a part of the reason why he is so, and not otherwise: for Shakespeare seldom if ever brings in a person merely for the sake of others. A mixture of conceit and drollery, and hugely wrapped up in self, he is by no means a commonplace buffoon, but stands firm in his sufficiency of original stock. His elaborate nonsense, his grasping at a pun without catching it, yet feeling just as grand as if he did, is both ludicrous and natural. His jokes to ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... a commonplace seal on my letter, and had the address written by Philippe, whose hand was unknown to Manucci, and then I sent it to Pando where the ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... outre, as well as the commonplace, in human activity conceals energy transformations of inestimable value in the work of sublimation. The race would go mad without it. It sometimes does even with it, a sign that sublimation is still imperfect and that the race is far from being spiritually well. A comprehension ...
— Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts • Herbert Silberer

... reasons for anything under heaven." The story was a great success. In dumb show, the speaker he referred to begged for mercy. This only delighted the audience still more, and when the dull speaker finished it was admitted that, for once, he had escaped being stupid or commonplace. He had also forced upon the next speaker the necessity of removing the unpleasant effects of the jokes made at his expense, a task that required ...
— Toasts - and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say - the Right Thing in the Right Way • William Pittenger

... a commonplace stratagem familiar to the provincial bailiff. Its success entirely depends upon circumstances, and in this case it was certain, so intimate was Cerizet's knowledge of the characters and hopes of those concerned. Cerizet ...
— Eve and David • Honore de Balzac

... might appear unequal; but there was still another consideration in the scale; for while Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of abstinence, Hyde would be not even conscious of all that he had lost. Strange as my circumstances were, the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part, and was found wanting in the strength to keep ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... nourishing, while at the same time his appetite needed coaxing. She allowed him to add a can of mushrooms, as the right thing to go with it, and some salad; and then while he put the order up she stood reproaching herself for it, since it formed no fit lunch, and was both expensive and commonplace. ...
— The Story of a Play - A Novel • W. D. Howells

... motive which led Eeldrop and Appleplex thus to separate themselves from time to time, from the fields of their daily employments and their ordinarily social activities. Both were endeavoring to escape not the commonplace, respectable or even the domestic, but the too well pigeonholed, too taken-for-granted, too highly systematized areas, and,—in the language of those whom they sought to avoid—they wished "to apprehend the human ...
— Eeldrop and Appleplex • T.S. Eliot

... upon the bride; the sight of her filled him with a curious stir of emotion. Alarm, desire, affection, respect—and a queer element of reluctant dislike all played their part in that complex eddy. The grey dress made her a stranger to him, made her stiff and commonplace, she was not even the rather drooping form that had caught his facile sense of beauty when he had proposed to her in the Recreation Ground. There was something too that did not please him in the angle of her hat, it was indeed an ill-conceived hat with large aimless rosettes of pink and ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... who called themselves artists few merit our attention; they practised but a feeble sort of imitative painting; their works of slight importance cannot now be named, while their lives were usually commonplace and void of incident. Of the few exceptions to this rule I have written in the later pages of ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... that fought under stress and strain, amid terror and tragedy, making life crackle with the strength of their endeavor. And yet the magazine short stories seemed intent on glorifying the Mr. Butlers, the sordid dollar- chasers, and the commonplace little love affairs of commonplace little men and women. Was it because the editors of the magazines were commonplace? he demanded. Or were they afraid of life, these writers ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... being admired by the king, who not only was the first person in the kingdom, but was one of the handsomest and cleverest men in Europe. As for the sudden passion with which Louis was inspired for his sister-in-law, physiology would perhaps supply an explanation by some hackneyed commonplace reasons, and nature by means of her mysterious affinity of characters. Madame had the most beautiful black eyes in the world; Louis, eyes as beautiful, but blue. Madame was laughter-loving and unreserved in her manners; Louis, melancholy ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... sentence to hear, sitting thus in the commonplace drawing-room of a London house with the baker's boy ringing the area bell and the last edition of the Pall Mall being cried blatantly athwart ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... their schools and universities. Some of these Fathers were educated at the great universities, like Athens, others at comparatively humble provincial institutions; some of them were men of powerful intellect, while others were more commonplace. What they learned was the general intellectual system of the late Empire, and what they learned they handed on to the Middle Ages; but it was not the great intellectual culture of Greece. We have still too strong an inclination to think of the ancient world ...
— Progress and History • Various

... results of their knowledge and experience to answer them. But before dealing with the failure to meet these tests, it is necessary to state here that it is not a question of blaming men, or of substituting Indians for Englishmen, but of changing the system itself. It is a commonplace that the best men become corrupted by the possession of irresponsible power. As Bernard Houghton says: "The possession of unchecked power corrupts some of the finer qualities." Officials quite honestly come to believe that those who try ...
— The Case For India • Annie Besant

... and the universe on the universe. He has the right key, only the miserable locks won't fit it. Having formed a very clear conception of the best possible world, he looks down patronizingly upon the commonplace people who are trying to make the best out of this imperfect world. Having large possessions in Utopia, he lives the care-free life of an absentee landlord. His praise is always for the dead, or for the yet unborn; when he looks on his contemporaries he takes a gloomy view. That any great man ...
— By the Christmas Fire • Samuel McChord Crothers



Words linked to "Commonplace" :   input, unexciting, comment, unoriginal, ordinary, truism, remark



Copyright © 2020 Dictonary.net