Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Guest Blogger: Beth Muscat, Discussing, Avuncular??? Apogee??? Concupiscent??? Exactly!!!

Beth is a mom. A funny mom who loves kitties, hates snow, and loves to write about Wal Martians. She’s also the author of the Remember the Eyes Series, The Bracelet, and Wildflower. You can find her blog at  All Kidding Aside .

Beth, your title has me going WTF? So I’m really anxious to read what this is all about.

Here’s Beth Muscat, everyone.

Thank you Shelly for allowing me to invade your blog today.

I've thought about this and I can't be taciturn about this any longer.

Recently a friend of mine, William Kendall of Speak Of The Devil , wrote about some of his pet peeves. They were just random pet peeves, many that most of us have, or can at least relate to. I've written an earlier blog about some of my pet peeves as well. However, this that I'm writing about today just can't go without being said. It needs to be quelled immediately.

I just finished reading a book that is very popular right now. This author is making quite a name for herself. It's by E L James...if you haven't already guessed, the book is Fifty Shades Of Grey. The book was ok (I didn't like it and you can read my review here, but I've got a pet peeve with books like this. It's too verbose. I'm having trouble envisaging. I am completely nonplussed. WTF?

Ok, I'm going to be the first to say that I don't have an English major or any sort of educational writing background, but I do pride myself in being a pretty good speller. I sometimes will put a comma in a sentence where it doesn't belong, or I might be overzealous with an exclamation mark or two, but I hate reading books where I have to constantly look words up to find out their meaning.

Someone who likes using BIG words is Dean Koontz. I really like his books...he's one of my favorite authors, but I hate it when he uses words that I have to look up. Do authors do this to make themselves look educated, even though they may only have a high school diploma? Do they do this so that they can say that they actually used the Thesaurus they got for Christmas last year? Do they do this to be mulish, unbidden or cogent? Well, let me tell you, it's vitriolic...highly vitriolic.

Yes, these are just some of the words I had to look up from Fifty Shades Of Grey. I hate that. At the time I wrote this blog, I was half way through the book, and these are just a few of the words I had to look up. Here's one that wasn't in the dictionary, but was in the book: bilions. Yup. No dictionary definition came up for this one.

Lets see if you know what any of these mean, because I sure didn't.

debasement-I thought maybe this was to remove a basement, but apparently it means to reduce in quality or value, to lower in rank, dignity or significance. Oh. Would it not just be easier to say that you are beneath me now?

castigating-to criticize or reprimand severely, to punish in order to correct. Why not say you'll slap them silly if they don't do what you want them to do?

predilection-a tendency to think favourably of something in particular, partiality, preference. Oh, just give her some candy or flowers and you'll have her eating out of the palm of your hand.

disconsolate-hopeless, unhappy, inconsolable. I am disconsolate because I have to go look up the meaning of disconsolate.

gamboling-I thought she misspelled the word "gambling"...but, apparently it means to skip about, as in dancing or playing, frolic. Who knew?

askance-with suspicion, mistrust, disapproval, with a side glance. What's wrong with saying you messed up?

acquiesce-to assent tacitly, submit, or comply silently or without protest, agree, consent. Wow. Well....Why not just say, you will be my sex slave and you'll like it?

enervating-I thought maybe this was another way of saying rejuvenating or having lots of vim and vigor...apparently it is to deprive of force or strength, destroy the vigor of, weaken. Uh. The complete opposite. Why not just say, you have no free will, your weak, and I will take you? You are mine.

somnambulant-What??? I was sure there was no such word, but it means to sleepwalk. Who knew?

There. See what I mean. Yes, as you read the sentence, sometimes the words make more sense, but I shouldn't have to look up words in the dictionary because you're trying to show off. I'd like to quell this action, capitulate that I need to work on my use of words, commiserate that others will have to look up these same words while reading this book (and blog) and ad hoc this blog. I think I've mollified any words that you may have not known the meaning of.

Having now finished the book, look forward to part 2 of this blog about an author's use of BIG words. Boy, I'm feeling very obtuse.

Beth, thanks for enlightening us with these big and unknown words. I think I’ll print this out and set it next to my pile of TBR books. Lately, I’ve been a SLACKER again. You just made my job easy.

I hope all of you enjoyed this.

Also, wanted you all to know, I won’t be around until tomorrow. Glowstick and me are heading south to visit his mommy today. I’ll be around tomorrow to read blogs and make comments.

Have a great day!

Later in the ink all,



  1. I am not a college graduate. After six months of working and attending college I realized I could not exist on four hours of sleep, but I didn't think any of the words were unknown. William Buckley is the only author I've read that made the dictionary a necessity. You did make me understand why one member of our Desert Writers Group says that my stories verge on literary.

    1. LOL I just think it's a nuisence to have to look up words while trying to read a story. Yes, some of these words might be of use, but avuncular? Why not just say uncle? Doesn't that make more sense to everyone? LOL

  2. The funny thing is Beth that once you have one of these big weird words in your head and you're sure of the meaning, you'll end up using it in your writing. I remember being upset about someone who used the word detritus when he could of just said junk and guess what? Yup, I used detritus and loved the way it sounded.
    Big thanks to Shelly for sharing your insight into this phenomenon.

    1. LOL I've used my thesaurus several times, and used some of these big words...then I got to thinking: if I needed my thesaurus to get this big word that otherwise, I wouldn't have known what it was, then that means my readers would have to get out their dictionary to look it up too...I didn't want that. So, I use the easy words.

      BTW, I'll have to look up detritus...LOL

  3. Good blog, Beth!

    While I do like a certain formality in what I read, when the author starts going overboard, it becomes very, very grating on the nerves. It's as if they're trying to show off their vocabulary, to little effect.

    There's this monumental blowhard former media baron, total egomaniac, who just came back after time in prison in the United States for white collar crimes. Years ago he renounced his Canadian citizenship to stroke his own overinflated ego and sit in the British house of lords. That jackass spends his time sneering at pretty much every human on earth that's not himself or his wife, and writing books with a whole mess of seven syllable words.

    1. Ah yes...I know of this blowhard...not a fan. LOL

  4. I was once interviewed by a reporter who had the same complaint, Beth. She said she hated having to read with the book in one hand and a dictionary in the other.

    I don't try to run a vocabulary marathon when I write. Like Billy Graham, I prefer to keep it simple to reach the most people possible. One author I knew was a teacher and it showed in her writing. When I suggested it might be the reason her sales were hurting, she said she refused to talk down to her audience. I asked if she preferred to have them think she was looking down on them.

  5. It's so true...

    Your writing is easy to understand and read, meaning that I don't have to do double reading by reading a dictionary as well. However, once in awhile is ok with me. I just don't think that I should have to look up more than 50 words from a book...that's too much.

  6. Great post, Beth! This is also a big pet peeve of mine whenever I'm reading a book. If a word or name makes me stop and pulls me out of the story for a minute, I feel totally interrupted.

    1. Exactly...that's a great way of saying it...interrupted!

  7. Absolutely brilliant guest post gang! You had me at nonplussed, btw. :)

    Best of luck to Beth, and thanks for sharing, Shelly!

    1. LOL E.J.!!! I'm still nonplussed...!

  8. Yay!! More words for my vocabulary! Thanks for an awesome and hilarious post :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)


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