Friday, 11 November 2011

Should I be offended.

A writer friend of mine accused me of being otiose today. I'd get up and slap him around if I could be bothered. Needless to say anybody who bandies around words like otiose and obtuse writes a different kind of prose than I.

   I know that writing should educate, amuse and enlighten but should I use words that the majority of people have never heard of? Remembering the laws of libel, there's an excellent horror writer who has an unfortunate habit of dredging up words that I've never heard in my life. In fact I spend so much time looking up these words that eventually the story loses most of its appeal.

  I know that the dialogue I use in my Three Hoodies novels is not exactly plumbing the depths of the approximately 170,000 words in the English language but would three fourteen year old boys who spend most of their time dodging adults, the police and rampaging aliens, really enunciate their feelings with four and five syllable words? And remembering that those novels are meant to be read and hopefully enjoyed by teens and above, I don't want to annoy them with words that they would never use; and in some case would never have heard of.

  My daughter currently has a vocabulary of about ten words to explain just about every situation she ever encounters. I didn't know the word random could have so many interpretations.


  1. Add that to placing her hand on her hip and moving her head sideways and you've got real attitude.

  2. There are different writing styles which suit different readers. It's always irritating when people like this tell you how you should write. I like 'three hoodies' the way it is.