It’s time to mull over some of the peculiar but appealing expressions found throughout Clingstone! Any chance these will ever catch on again? An example from the book is followed up by a real-world attempt to reinvigorate the modern lexicon with a bit of charm.
Apple-pie order-a tidy appearance
EXAMPLE: She suspiciously eyed Coralie’s neatly groomed appearance, from her sleek curtain of hair to her tidy pink dress with its pattern of none-so-pretties. “What happened to you is the better question. How’ve you managed to stay in apple-pie order?”
EXAMPLE: “I did yard work all day today. At the end of the day, I was sunburnt and sweaty, and covered in various insect bites: flies, mosquitoes, and those awful little black bugs no bigger than a grain of sand called no-see-ums. When I finally dragged my tired carcass inside the house, I was the very opposite of apple-pie order.”
From the sublime to the ridiculous-every experience imaginable, from the wonderful to the ludicrous
EXAMPLE: Feeling silly and content and not at all disappointed like she supposed she ought, Mae adopted his philosophy of finding amusement in everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.
EXAMPLE: “One of my favorite television shows, Blindspot, has started up again. The plots range from the sublime to the ridiculous, which can be terribly silly, but always entertaining!”
Gone to rack and ruin-absolute destruction; extreme economic loss
EXAMPLE: "For pity’s sake! Don’t depend on these trifling Yankees for nothin’. Grab what you’re able in the few minutes we got left. If we’re goin’ to rack and ruin, let’s take as much as we can along with us. No sense in makin’ it easier for these wicked vandals!”
EXAMPLE: “I’m finally finished building my picket fence. I miscalculated the total cost, and nearly went to rack and ruin building the darn thing, but hooray! It’s a wrap!”