Monday, January 19, 2015

Reading and Mockery are a Few of My Favorite Things

I LOVE reading. Like, I just finished book 9 of 2015. Love it. And I am a very accepting reader. I've even read all of the Twilight books. Twice. In my defense, I read them the first time to see what the hullabaloo was about, and then again because I figured I missed something since there was still said hullabaloo. Sigh.

Despite my ability to read garbage and enjoy it, I have a few pet peeves that  really get my goat.

1. Typos

From my understanding, books have a lot of people touch them. Writer, editors, friends, family, more editors, publishers, advanced readers, etc. So many people, so how do all of these people not realize that there is a sentence that says, "and despite her flowning face..." WHAT. THAT'S NOT EVEN A WORD. YOU HAVE ONE JOB. How are typos even a thing with all of those people reading it? ONE JOB. 

2. Over Description of Outfits

One of the downsides to my willingness to read whatever is put in front of me is that I read some terrible writing. I usually enjoy the story despite said awfulness, but there is one thing I can't stand. I have come to realize that there is a hallmark of bad writing - describing what everyone is wearing. ALL THE TIME. 

I read a book that listed five different colors of pink nail polish. FIVE. "And her Ice Princess Pink nails...." and "she looked at her Fru Fru Magoo Pink nails..." What. Why. I was really starting to get into this ridiculous story and suddenly all I can think about is how often your main character is painting her nails. 

3. Literally

"He was so angry that his eyes were literally on fire." SOMEONE HELP THE DYING MAN! THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE!! Unless you are Rob Lowe on Parks and Rec, and deliver this line with absolute sincerity, do not use this word. Just don't risk it. It literally always goes wrong.  

4. Decimate

This one irritates me so much because it's been misused to the point that the definition of the word has changed. Decimate means destroy one in ten. Writers LOVE this word. "The war decimated the population.." I mean, 10% loss isn't great, BUT IT'S NOT WHAT YOU MEAN. Devastated. Destroyed. Annihilated. All lovely options. 

5. Hair color

I finally read Gone Girl the other day, and it was really good! BUT as a girl who has dyed my hair a gross amount of times, I had one major pet peeve. The main character dyes her own hair brown (fine, that's a thing) but then dyes her hair right back to blonde. Nope. No no no. Not a thing. Dying brown dyed hair with blonde dye from a box has two outcomes - horrifying or blood curdling. Neon orange. Or green. 

Am I nit picking? Yes. Would her green hair have ruined her whole story? YES. 

What's your biggest pet peeve in reading?



Anonymous said...

Over-description of outfits is nothing compared to the pages-long descriptions of the moors in any Brit Lit book I've ever read. I stopped reading them because I. Just. Couldn't. Take. Any. Moor. :) Sorry, had to say it . . .

Jen Woofter said...

Over descriptions of food. Unless one of your main characters is a chef, or the plot indespensably revolves around foodstuffs (Eat Pray Love, like Water for Chocolate etc), I quickly tired of how the fearless detective managed the perfect Italian salad and shrimp scampi late at night between her grisly discoveries, or how characters of means do their deepest pondering over a seared fillet. Come to think of it, the authors that do that also tend to be gratutitous with their sex scenes as well.
I have no compunction about defacing my books by crossing out typos and neatly printing the correct word. I wish I could do that on the internet. Bawling aloud and balling allowed are sooooo not the same thing.