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Which word(s) would you use in a situation such as the one below, to make the sentence sound logical, natural and complete?

You told me we were going to a nice park. We've spent almost two hours to get here! And what do I see here? You call these three trees and two benches a park?! Are you kidding me? This is not a park, this is a ____ of a park!

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What's the point of opening another question, essentially identical to your last one that has been closed, already knowing this will be closed too? english.stackexchange.com/questions/23165/… –  nico May 1 '11 at 8:01
    
@nico - "What's the point of opening another question, essentially identical to your last one that has been closed" - Shortly put, because I need to get an answer. If more expanded: yesterday I ran into that situation and didn't know how to say that in English. I stumbled exactly where the blank is (see my question). I need to know how to express that thought in English for the next time. –  brilliant May 1 '11 at 8:33
    
@brilliant: sure I understand you need an answer, but then just rephrase the question in another way, so that it will not be closed. By the way, I would use a mockery of a park, but I am not sure if that's what a native English speaker would say ;) –  nico May 1 '11 at 8:38
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The point is that is very very unlikely that anybody will ever find this question by searching for it (what would you look for). You could write: "What words would you use to describe something that does not at all reach the expectations you have for it?" You can then, if you wish, add the example of the park, maybe add another one or two examples. The question will be essentially the same, but it will be more wide and easier to look for. Also it may probably be more well suited for writers.stackexchange.com (I'm not sure)? –  nico May 1 '11 at 9:06
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I think this question is way better worded and applicable to a much wider audience than that other one that got closed. (Also, it is applicable to a rather wide range of situations, not just parks.) However, "meta" stuff such as "this question will probably get killed" should be kept out of the body of the question, and I agree with @nico that it's generally not a good idea to just go ahead and post a question you don't deem on-topic yourself. When in doubt, ask in our chat first. This is also where lengthy discussions go. I reserve the right to clean up the comments without further notice. –  RegDwigнt May 1 '11 at 14:30
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7 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

An epigone. IPA: ˈɛpɨɡəʊn Greek: ἐπίγονοι

Epigone means a pathetic copy, a derivative, a completely un-memorable also-ran, created by the half-hearted effort of a talentless hack, who probably would never have had the idea to create the derivative work, if he had not admired the original. If "paragon" is the greatest exemplar of a particular platonic ideal, then the "epigone" is a shallow pale photocopy. The greek root of the word epigone means "born later". Synonyms: Also-Ran, Derivative.

I first saw the word referring to the "epigones of Tolkien"; That mass of drivel that copies Tolkien, poorly.

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+1 for epigone! I sometimes read anepigone.blogspot.com epiwent, epigo, epigone! :) haha –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 2 '11 at 23:25
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did you actually click the up-vote button? :-) –  Warren P May 2 '11 at 23:58
    
+1 @Warren oh yes, I did! ;) –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 3 '11 at 0:32
    
I should credit China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station for introducing me to the term. –  Warren P Jun 13 '11 at 17:44
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a shadow of a park

a semblance of a park

a simulacrum of a park

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Nice... or along the same lines, perhaps "an imitation of a park" :) –  psmears May 1 '11 at 13:25
    
@psmears maybe you should add that as an answer? :) that's a good one actually! :) –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 1 '11 at 17:33
    
+1 for Simulacrum. –  Warren P May 2 '11 at 22:59
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It won't fit exactly with the sentence, but I would use:

"...this is a poor excuse for a park!"

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You could either say it is a travesty of a park or a caricature of a park.

From NOAD:

travesty |ˈtravistē| noun ( pl. -ties) a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something : the absurdly lenient sentence is a travesty of justice.

caricature |ˈkarikə ch ər; -ˌ ch oŏr| noun ... • a ludicrous or grotesque version of someone or something : he looked like a caricature of his normal self.

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'Parody' would be my guess, FWIW.

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Most people I know would just say "joke." It's a whole two syllables less! –  kitukwfyer May 1 '11 at 21:59
    
+1 for parody! :) Reminds me of Weird Al :) –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 2 '11 at 23:25
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. . . embryo of a park!

. . . poor cousin of a park!

. . . back yard of a park!

. . .

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So called. or Soi-Disant (french).

"This so-called park took us two hours to get to".

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+1 @Warren how would you use soi-disant? "This soi-disant of a park took us two hours to get to?" –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 3 '11 at 1:00
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