All but choked

Jul 11, 2015 | Things I wish I'd written

Uncle Pumblechook: a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head, so that he looked as if he had just been all but choked, and had that moment come to.

Charles Dickens figured fiction out a century and a half ago, and I’m not certain literature has progressed since. From Great Expectations.