Observation No. 2 – Pet Words

24 Jul

Effective use of vocabulary and using a ten cent word just because you can are two very, very different things.

Take, for example, verklempt. I’ve only ever met one person who uses “verklempt” as part of her everyday vocabulary, and only then because it’s her pet word. (And, apologies to her if she reads this, even she sounds silly using it.)

Case in point, page 208 of The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan: “Before I can get too verklempt, the Volvo pulls into the Bergmans’ gravel driveway.”

Verklempt, indeed. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that the same main character who cannot remember that “bad” is missing a “-ly” when used as an adverb would ever choose to think the word “verklempt” rather than “upset,” “agitated,” “emotional,” etc.

The best authors not only have wide and varied vocabularies, but also a judicious eye for placement. One can only hope readers do not run across a stray “gloaming” in the remaining pages of Pagan’s novel.

Moss graffiti – grow your own pet words!

2 Responses to “Observation No. 2 – Pet Words”

  1. Ashley July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    But saying verkplempt is ok if you’re Linda Richman from Coffee Talk.

    • Ashley July 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

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