Language, language, language …

Thinking about my other post on using the word “Literally” to mean “Figuratively” – actually sometimes I think “literally” can work well: when something really does happen, but it’s surprising. “The cat, stuffed with explosives, literally exploded.” Actually, that’s a lame example, but I made it up just now. I’m sure there are better examples. But “literally” can work for emphasis if used with care, I guess.

Something that’s bothering me lately is trying to use words that work. I read something recently – “… suddenly the telephone rang …” Goodness me, how else do phones ring? Gradually? Limpidly? Gotta say I’m just as guilty too, was scanning something I’d written a while back (in my thesis, where I should have been at the top of my game) where my character was staring ” … utterly transfixed …”. Good grief, Sean, surely if you’re transfixed, the utterly is implied? Perhaps the alternative could be something like “vaguely transfixed” or “inattentively transfixed”. Yes, I like that last one better :-/

2 thoughts on “Language, language, language …

  1. Hmmm…she said thoughtfully. (DUH- how else does one hmmm?) All your thinkings make my brain hurt, my friend.

    BTW- I think you are going to win the worst in love contest. I had this great story I was going to write – but now I’m thinking I shouldn’t even bother. 😉 (Nah – I’ll give it a go anyway!) Loved your ghost story. Keep up the good work!

  2. Wow, thanks Jodi – I can’t wait to see your story. Cool that Lori extended the deadline. Yes, I must think less, I end up second-guessing myself. Somewhere someone once said something like ‘stories are never finished only abandoned’. I should look back at my old and abandoned stories less too.

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