Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Really? It's like just great already

Yes, I've posted on "crutch" words before, but I guess I'm tuned in to some more than others.  I was in a training session today where they overused the word "really."  I also listen to a radio station where I hear "really" and "just" in every sentence (and sometimes twice)!  It's quite annoying, and the more editing I do, the more I recognize these things creeping into my writing.  Talking to my DH, his favorite word is "already."  He pops it in everywhere, even when it isn't appropriate.

Am I on my high horse?  Heck no!  I have my own share of personal crutch words.  It just makes me smile when I hear them and recognize them for what they are.  Like when a teenager like you know uses like every other word, you know?

Conversely, I'm reading Diana Gabaldon, whose vocabulary is immense.  I have a large vocabulary.  My son inherited that gift.  But as I read "An Echo in the Bone," these words are jumping off the page for the same reasons - there's such a thing as writing over a reader's head.  Don 't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the book so far (more than I expected I would, but I'm only 250 pages in to an 800 page epic).  The large words are conspicuous, however.  Also noted by me after having this pointed out in my own writing, that although you don't want to "dumb it down," you also want to take into account the words that the average Joe doesn't know.

So for now, I'm going to really make an effort to just catch up on some of the things that, like, I've been behind in.


1 comment:

  1. Well, really, Karla. An entire post without a single "back."

    I hear you on those ten-dollar words. I don't want to have to grab a dictionary when I'm reading. Normally I can get the gist from context, and I won't mind if the vocabulary matches the character. I figure I've got a reasonable vocabulary and if I know what a word means when I'm writing, my readers should too, although I've had CP's tell me they didn't 'get' some of my usages. Is miasma THAT lofty a word?

    Then again, newspapers are written at a 5th grade reading level.