I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means: A Random wRiting Rant

inigo_montoyaI’ve been reading a lot lately.  OK, I read a lot normally but I’ve been reading a ton lately. Many of the new adult books I’ve been reading are self-published. I’m impressed by how well put together many of them are. I’ve only run into one total train wreck I couldn’t finish and another that could have used an extra round of fine comb edits. The rest have a minor typo here and there but for the most part, very impressive.

I’ve read three titles by a particular author (again, not dropping names cause that’s just bitchy) whose books are particularly well done except for one issue that drive me absolutely bonkers. She uses verbs in a way I have decided to call “creative”, to be nice. She uses different verbs to mean something adjacent to their true meaning. It really bugs me because there are more exact, better verbs she could use but does not. She also sometimes uses verbs completely inappropriately.

The worst thing is that it appears to be spreading in the New Adult Fiction genre (hopefully not elsewhere!). Here is an example I ran into in this author’s book and another author’s book that really pushed me over the edge:

Their eyes amplified.

His eyes amplified.

This just doesn’t work. It’s not proper usage of this verb. Please, I beg you be creative in the way you put words together, not in the meaning you want to use a word to convey. Do not try to give a word a new meaning or spin or to use it in a way it has not been used before. Believe me, there’s a reason no one’s used it that way before. 

The English language is a vast, diverse and growing thing. Some claim it now encompasses more than 1,000,000 words. Surely within that immense field of verbage, you can find the CORRECT word (or even words) rather than trying to bend a word to fit your meaning.

Cheers and kisses,

Heather

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2 thoughts on “I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means: A Random wRiting Rant

  1. I know what you mean. I came across one book a while ago which repeatedly used the word “quavered” where “quivered” would have been far more appropriate. It was a fine book otherwise, but still.

    Thanks for posting. I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Yeah, the occasional misuse or typo doesn’t bug me so much, it’s when it’s used repeatedly that it really gets to me.
      Thanks for dropping by!

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