The late medieval/early Renaissance
writer Erasmus in his widely-used rhetorical guide, De
duplici copia verborum ac rerum, showed the student 150
different styles one might use when phrasing the Latin sentence,
"Your letter has delighted me very much" (Tuae
literae me magnopere delectarunt). Edward Corbett shows
some examples translated into English:
Your epistle has cheered
Your note has been the
occasion of unusual pleasure for me.
When your letter came,
I was seized with an extraordinary pleasure.
What you wrote to me was
On reading your letter,
I was filled with joy.
Your letter provided me
with no little pleasure. (1)
We could add many other examples
I liked your letter.
My heart was all a-throbbing
after finishing your note.
Your words brought a smile
to my face.
I had to grin as I read
Your letter was a refreshing
spot of color in my otherwise black-and-white existence.
The perusal of your epistle
uplifted me from spiritual ennui.
Your letter pleased me.
What a joy it was to read
some of the resulting sentences will be monstrous and
unusable. For instance, "The perusal
of your epistle uplifted me from spiritual ennui" is
downright supercilious. Yet this sort of artificial experimentation
will help students become aware of the flexibility of language--thus
they learn to extend their own range as writers.
Corbett, Edward P. J. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern
Student. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990. 461-62.