Friday, March 12, 2010

Found Only In Fiction: Grimace

According to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, a grimace is “a distortion of the face made in disgust or to amuse”. It’s a legitimate physical reaction. But after hours of reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s rarely effective when book characters do it.

Almost every time I see this word, it draws my attention. I’m no longer thinking about the character, I’m trying to visualize a grimace. When I meet a word like this, I think: Do you use this word in everyday life? If not, maybe it doesn’t belong in your novel.

Suggestion:  Use only on rare occasions, if at all.

1 comment:

  1. I remember having this reaction to the word "ruefully" in books as a child. As in "He grinned ruefully." But I guess having little mind-wandering thoughts like that doesn't bother me that much when I read.

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