January 25, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday (3).

This new fabulous meme is brought to us by Melissa at i swim for oceans.

Question: Do you have any specific literary pet-peeves in the genres you read, and why?

First, and totally unrelated: I missed last week's TTMT, so I'm glad to be participating again. Definitely love to get my brain thinking about books and the literary world I'm involved in.

Now, to answer the question.

One of my biggest pet-peeves in any genre (but which appears most in the YA literature I've come across) is the use of overly ecstatic, super girly squeals of delight or disbelief or anger, etc. You know what I'm talking about. The dialogue that is literally written as "Omigosh!!!!!" or "Ohmygawsh!" or "Ohmigod!"

You know you've seen it. It's in some of the most hyped books on the YA circuit, such as The Duff.

There's something about the use of omigod! and others that actually makes me cringe. Whether it's the incorrect grammar (although that's intentional, I know) or the pure girly-ness of it that bothers me, I'm not quite sure. I think it's a combination of the two. It just makes the character so unrelatable and fake to me. If I come across any use of the aforementioned, or a close variation, I sometimes refuse to read the rest of the book. I cannot tolerate it, unless there's something else about the story worth reading. I don't understand why it's ever necessary. It always seems to make the characters using such expressions appear unintelligent.


  1. SO true, Alissa! Part of the reason I didn't really like The Lonely Hearts Club was because the overly girly and squealy talk. Then part of the reason I didn't like Witch & Wizard was because of the overabundance of exclamations. I want something to build, and I don't see why we need to dumb characters down to make them entertaining.

    Great answer :)

  2. Um, have you been around teenage girls lately? I get to read the facebook entries on my son's account because I want to know what's going on. I also get to hear 13 and 14 yr olds talk at dances. They're doing it! Dumb as it makes them sound and as much as I cringe, they do. I correct mine every chance I get, but if you're writing YA and you've got squealy girls in it, chances are, that's what they're saying. OMG :)


  3. LOL this literally made me laugh out loud. Luckily, I haven't seen this sort of thing written yet, but when I do now, I'm going to think of you.


  4. I agree with you. I am guilty of using it sometimes, but seeing it in a YA book, or any for that matter, jolts me from the story. Perhaps, as Heather said though, it's just a sign of the times.


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