cave canem

Cave Canem- Beware the Dog

Friday, July 20, 2012

Author's Pet Words

Every so often, I'll be reading a book and notice that the author is using a certain word rather frequently. Not an ordinary word like 'the' or 'said' or 'tree', but something that sticks out, like 'philosophically' or 'vermillion' or 'cathartic'. I've termed these 'author's pet words'.

These can get extremely distracting, especially to someone like me who pays a lot of attention to words. It gives the impression that the author just learned this new word today and was so proud of it that they had to sneak it into a couple chapters to show it off.

In my writing, though, I've begun to catch myself using certain words perhaps a bit more frequently than is strictly necessary. The thing is, though, they're generally not difficult to catch. All it takes is to read through the passage and then pull out a thesaurus to fix things up a little.

I don't know, I guess I'm just somewhat baffled by this phenomenon. Is it just me? Am I overly sensitive to this kind of thing? Maybe.

Still, I guess the moral of this story is that if you find yourself using a word a little too often, maybe you should put a leash on it and let some other words out to play for a while.

Or maybe the moral is that I'm a nitpicky douchebag. I'm not sure.

Well, this post is a waste of everyone's time.


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