When a Tit Should Be A Nip Or Leave Those Orbs Alone!

It is rant time on Scatteredthoughtsandroguewords because my breaking point has been reached, people!!!!  Since I became a guest reviewer on Joyfully Jay and started my blog, the number of books I have been reading has gone off the charts.  So it won’t surprise you all that some of the books I have been reading have been less than stellar and some have been just outstanding. The quality of the books has been all over the place but some truly awful world usage has popped up again and again.  And I can’t take it any more! So to all authors out there (and you know who you are), please I am begging you, cease and desist from the following:

Orbs: The use of the word orbs when describing eyes. No, no, no, and absolutingfuckatively no!  Eyes may be described as many things, windows of the soul, soulful, leering, squinty, bedroom, vacant but never an orb. Unless you are describing an alien, no that still doesn’t work.  Then its eyes on stalks, like these beauties pictured here.  Orbs are spheres, globes, balls, spheroids, spherules, circles.  One can say “My what a lovely orb you are carrying today, destruction of the universe on the agenda?” What I don’t hear or want to hear?  “My what lovely gray orbs you have? From your mother’s side of the family?” Yet, I have picked up two books in a row (and read several more) in which the main character describes the hunk in front of him with blue gray orbs, or fiery orbs, or who cares what color orbs.

It stops me cold. Especially when the author has done a wonderful job otherwise.  So please stop. Run over to Val Kovalin’s site and read/buy the article How To Describe Eyes  on obsidianbookshelf.com.  Then laminate it and stick it above the laptop or whatever you use to write with. When you get the urge to splurge with the vocabulary and start to type orb – stop.  If you have already done the deed, then become acquainted with Find and Replace.  Use it often. Find “orb” replace with “eye.” It’s simple.  I am begging you here! Don’t make me come find you!

Of Tits and Nips: There I was, happily ensconced in bed with my Kindle, reading this smoking hot sex scene.  I have my glass of wine and I’m popping bon bons like bullets shooting out of a AK 47 as the two main characters finally strip off each others clothes as a prelude to some hot man love.  John/Ethan/Insert Name runs his hands lovingly over Zane/Troy/Adam/Whoevers chest and then gives his tits a twist. Wait! What?  Did I just read that right?  I quickly put down the bon bons and scan that paragraph again. I enlarge the font and read “Hank/Ralph/Morey then proceeds to lick and bite Stan/Harry/Mordecai’s tits like a milk-starved calf reunited with his mother.”  Yep, it’s still tits.  The Kindle gets cold in my hands as I contemplate a chest and sex scene gone wrong.

When I think of a man’s chest  (and the good Lord knows I do), it’s those wonderful sexy nipples that grab my attention first.  Large or small, tight or at ease, all colors, it doesn’t matter.  I just love them.  I like to look at them. I like to read about them. Except when they are described as tits.  Right or wrong, to me the word tit has feminine connotations.  Woman have beautiful tits, gorgeous breasts, outstanding tatas, basooms, gazongas, whatever.  We have oodles of names for womens breasts.  Men who gender identify as women and men transitioning to women have tits. But men? Straight or gay men? Well then, it’s nipples all the way or nips if you prefer.  If you have a man nipping the nip in a story, I am allfor it.  Go on, lick that nip! Have your way with it! Just please don’t call it a tit.  I have read descriptions where they were called tight buds, and I am okay with that.  Nubs?  That’s good too.   Rub that nub !  But tits? When you get the urge, just take a gander at the picture above. And just say no.

 
Smiling Crookedly:  This is just a minor pain that is looking to evolve into a major one with each new book that I read.  Again, don’t get me wrong, I love characters that have that snarky, crooked grin. Usually it is pasted on the face of some scalawag trying to get a rise out of our hero and that grin just says you know he will succeed.  But lately, some authors just can’t leave it at one or two references a story, or even a chapter.  Once they start, the use of that crooked grin just steamrolls until it is the only facial expression that one character has.

I love it when the character beams, smiles from ear to ear, or has a broad or shy grin. And what has happened to the scowl? The frowny face?  The leer?  Please let us not forget to have our characters frown, glower, glare, grimace, give the occasional black or dirty look.  I do see lots of smirks these days as well.  Let’s not forget our characters can still be smug, snicker, and have a smothered laugh every now and again. This is just a cautionary plea to all authors.  Please don’t botox your characters into facialimmobility and one expression hunks. The characters,your stories and the reader deserve far better than that.  Just picture your male ideal, leaning in that oh so sexy manner against the wall, watching you.  Could you take a crooked smile all day or after a few hours or so are you ready to slap his face off? See?  Let’s keep those crooked smiles at a minimum please.  Thank you.

I am winding down here.  Just writing about these things will give me nightmares. Oh, and I am sure this is only Part 1 as other poor or overused word choices come to mind.  So let me leave you with a visual to make some of this come together
.What do you see when you look at these? Are those orbs on tits? Or eyes in jars?  Can orbs with crooked smiles and tits be far behind? Thoughts like these will send me running into the closet and shutting the doors. *shudder*   You authors out there !  You have the power to stop this!  Use the force wisely!  We beg you!

And send me those words that make you hurl when you see them in a story.  I am making a list. And checking it twice!

And stay tuned for more Vocabulary Gone Bad!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Val Kovalin
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 20:37:34

    Hi, Melanie! Great article, and thanks very much for the mention and link. Just to address the “smiles” part for a second…I had an editor flag “wry smile” on one of my manuscripts, saying, “90% of all smiles are wry in fiction” and she was absolutely right. I’m so glad she caught it. And smirks are way overdone in m/m fiction, just as you noted. :D

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  2. kvtaylor
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 13:21:51

    Oh my god, ORBS drives me up the damn wall. Loooove this article.

    And I do notice way more of this stuff when I’m on a reading binge, especially when it’s all in the same genre. It’s eye-opening in a strange way, innit?

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  3. kvtaylor
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 13:25:30

    Man, Orbs is like my least favorite word ever. I just picture these floating globes, I swear. LOVE this post~

    And yes on the smile. I don’t mind if there’s a REASON it’s crooked. Like if it didn’t quite make it to a whole smile or something. Or if it’s a smirk because something snarky was just said. But I really need some variation–as in use it once or twice, but come onnnnn–or I start to flip. (Unfortunately, when I WRITE I don’t always vary enough, but my editor busts me up. She’s awesome.)

    It’s interesting how reading a lot all at once brings these things to the surface that I don’t normally notice quite as much. Especially if it’s in the same genre. Like last time I went on a horror binge I was like, “Why is this smile always described as a slash? They can’t ALL be slashes!”

    (And yes, I know I’m commenting on this with the wrong account, but wordpress is being mean and won’t let me use kateyhawthorne.com right now for some reason. Oh well, it’s me, Katey!)

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    • melaniemarshall
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 13:53:59

      Katey, orbs was the word that set me off. Really, can you picture someone saying with a straight face “My, what lovely orbs you have.” I would be thinking here’s a lunatic in need of a dictionary.

      I am already compiling a list for the next piece of Vocabulary Gone Bad and so far I have starfish, rosebud, chute, man cave and asslips as terms for the anus. lol So many to pick from.

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  4. Trackback: Destination Anus or Where No Starfish Has Gone Before – Vocabulary Gone Bad #2 « scatteredthoughtsandroguewords
  5. Trackback: When a Tit Should Be A Nip Or Leave Those Orbs Alone! | BookLover62

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