You know how every action movie has a car chase? Every TV show a tidy resolution? Well, books have repetition too, and it comes in the form of words.
“Duh,” you say. “Words are what make up books.”
True. But what I’m referring to are those words we never say in real life that show up in every novel. At least it seems that way to me.
See if you agree.
uncommonly spoken words commonly found in fiction:
- Permeate (spread throughout; pervade)
One day, an inhuman stench permeated my teenage son’s room.
- Nonplussed (to be puzzled and perplexed)
Nonplussed (and retching), I scoured the bedroom for the source.
- Unnerved (to be deprived of courage, strength, or steadiness)
Spotting nothing, I dropped to my hands and knees and lifted the stained bed skirt, though I was unnerved by what I might find.
- Cacophony (a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds)
Before I got even a peek, a cacophony of teenage snark, grunting, and monosyllabic responses erupted behind me.
- Bemused (puzzled, confused, or bewildered)
Bemused (and still retching), I dropped the bed skirt, creaked up to a stand, and took a tentative step toward my son.
- Proffer (hold something out to someone for acceptance; offer)
“Is this what you’re looking for?” he asked, proffering a long-since-vanished bowl bearing a foul, black-fuzzed substance.
- Apoplectic (overcome with anger; extremely indignant; of, relating to, or causing stroke)
Trembling and apoplectic, I stiffened and fell to the floor. “Why yes, son. Yes, it is.” (Okay, maybe I didn’t stroke out, but I did insist he toss the organic matter into the trashcan.)
But who am I to be sanctimonious? Aside from nonplussed and apoplectic, I’ve written these words myself. In all three of my books. In fact, why I haven’t tossed in nonplussed and apoplectic is anyone’s guess. But there’s always book four…
Any other uncommon words you see commonly used in fiction? Any scenes you see played out from movie to movie?
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