More word peeves

Here are a couple more things people do with words that annoy me!

Writing voila as wala: Of course one might leave the accent off foreign words when typing them, but this is just too much.

Saying you could care less when you mean you couldn’t care less: Saying you COULD care less means that you actually care. You could care a huge amount for all I know.


The grind

I logged into my Submissions Grinder account for the first time since 2014, and boy did I used to submit a lot of stories everywhere… I miss that. Writing novels has kind of taken a lot of the excitement and feeling of making progress out of writing for me, since they take so damn long. Well, I want it back!

I think I can allow myself some variation without getting distracted.

My plan, now, is to allow myself one short story per 10,000 novel words. Goals/deadlines/requirements seem to motivate me, so maybe this will actually increase the speed I’m writing this novel.

And maybe… just maybe I’ll actually sell something again…

Very short story

I accepted a random challenge to write a 75 word story about a duel at high noon… this is what I came up with:

No shadows. Sun sizzles on my scalp. Lips crack, skin flakes red. Eyes blink sticky. My tongue is a paper reproduction. Resist.

Cool crystalline water, ice snap popping, condensation beading near my hand. Dusty fingers, split knuckles–they are the cracked soil longing to absorb drops from the cool glass. Resist.

He wobbles. A tower tipping, head drooping, hand swaying. His fingers touch glass. Grip it, tip it. The ground drinks. He laughs. Still I resist.


Are like puzzle pieces with many sides. Cube or dodecahedron even, and can lock together in many ways to reveal many pictures. Sometimes you just have to make them line up in any way that makes sense, and sometimes you spend hours sliding them around, moving them here and there, until you get exactly the right image. And sometimes, you realize one piece is off, but when you remove it the whole thing crumbles to a disconnected mess.

Word Peevs: we all have them!

Often times:   Why don’t you just say ‘often’?

Begs the question: 95% of the time you mean ‘raises the question.’

Familiar pronounced as Fur-miliar: Unless you are talking about your cat…

The problem is, is…: The thing is, is this is really annoying for me. The question is, is this annoying to anyone else?

Don’t get me wrong…: Whenever I read this, it irreversibly changes the tone of whatever I’m reading into a sing-songy newscaster kind of voice. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s what you’re going for, then do it! But otherwise, you might want to pick a less cliche phrasing.

Structuring sentences like this: “Turning in my chair, I vomited with irritation.” Instead of “I turned in my chair and vomited with irritation.” Or “I turned in my chair. Irritable vomit spewed forth.” Even worse is stringing the ings like “Turning in my chair and vomiting with irritation, I read this sentence.” Even worser if EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE is structured this way.

Scantily-clad: Another cliche, but this one particularly annoys me because nowhere else ever are the words ‘scantily’ and ‘clad’ used, except right next to each other. Please say something else.

And here are some from my writing/editing friends:

I’ll be there in three days’ time: Three days. Just, three days. Would you ever say “I’ll have three pounds’ weight of carrots please.” No, you wouldn’t.

For all intensive purposes: This is a double annoyance because the correct phrase, ‘for all intents and purposes’ is redundant.

Reply back or respond back: Could you reply forward, or to the left?

Unthaw: I have never heard this but have been assured it is a real thing people say when they mean ‘thaw’, not an ironic way to say ‘freeze’.

Alot: A lot, as in one lot of stuff. I have a bad feeling this will end up in the dictionary eventually, though.

I could of died: I may HAVE died just reading that. Please send help.

Definate: This is not a word. Please pay attention to the squiggly. It knows more than you.

Proberly and suposably: Probably you should read a book now and then. Supposedly it helps with understanding what words are.

Per se: I know some people who say this all the time, per se. I wonder, per se, if they know what it means.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more and post them as they strike me…

What are your word peeves?

Alternate Worlds: in which the same people keep being born

In this world, there are a set number of ways our DNA can combine to produce a child. There are generations worth of people who looked exactly like you in the past, and you can know based on this, what you’ll look like as you age and what kind of health problems you will have.

Some people, after becoming murderers every time, might be raised in isolation for public safety. Others, known to grow up to be skilled in one area or another, might be raised a specific way.

How much of your personality and skills are due to your genetics, and how much are due to your environment when growing up? Even if it was mostly environment, I’m sure people in this world would face a lot of prejudice and preconceptions based on the ‘type’ of body they were born into.


Are you begging? (72 hour read)

When I’m scrolling through my reader here on WordPress, I often see posts with a little parenthetic in the title like: (2 minute read). I’m trying to put a finger on why I almost never read these posts.

I feel a resistance to click on them at all, when I see those. Unless the title is something very interesting or relevant to me, I won’t click.

It feels almost like a sort of pleading. Please, please read this, it’s so short, it won’t be but a few minutes of your time!

Why should you feel the need to advertise that your post is brief?  This doesn’t say very much about your writing that you feel required to assure me I won’t have to endure it for long…