Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O - Odious

Isn’t that a fantastic word? Not only does it sound Bad. But it also draws up images of things that smell rather disgusting as well, doesn’t it? For example:
 "The odious sweet smell of decaying flesh rose to hit him in the face when he opened the manhole cover."
Or:  "The bonnet. The odious bonnet. If she had to wear it again, she swore she’d kill someone, and look. That’s exactly what happened."
And I know it isn’t my “food” day but this word is often associated with fish. And fish smells.

I’m not sure where it starts to become cliche when a word is too often associated with something. Think Romance. Think how often “Odious” is used in conjunction with the stamping of booted feet, or the pounding of clenched fists. Or the tossing of a ringlet-ted head as she flounces off saying “OH! That Odious Man!” Not that there’s anything wrong with a good romance every so often. But when words get over-used in certain situations they become cliche. Their power gets taken away.

Love Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy's!
For example, I just wrote a short story where one of the plot points got a bit fouled up because I had described a character as having an ‘Earthy’ scent to him. My critique peeps felt this gave the character a feeling of bit of the Fae to him. Which is not at all what I was aiming for. Wasn’t even on my radar. I was just trying to suggest he was from ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. But since Both of the people who critiqued the story picked this up as an issue, I felt I should change it. Even though it’s not even close to what I was trying to convey. So, now having an Earthy scent is Equal to being Fae?       Odious!


  1. I wouldn't have read "Earthy" as "Fae."

    I do agree that over used words lose their intended strength and make the writing less engaging.

    Good post,
    Michelle :)

    A to Z Challenger

  2. I LOVE the picture from Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book - I have always wanted one of those fairy's tattoo's on my butt so it looks like I sat on one . . . .

  3. I wouldn't associate "earthy" with "fae", either. It evokes the smells of musk, soil, and sweat to me. Just stopping by on an A-Z fly-by, but count me in as your newest follower. I like your upbeat attitude.

  4. I like your writing. Great post!


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