Say it with me now: Bitchosphere!

Check this out: according to this wee bit o’news forwarded to me by many a reader there are now internet words that inspire the ire. No kidding.

According to the article, the internet words people hate the most:
1. folksonomy
2. blogosphere
3. blog
4. netiquette
5. blook (aka Blog-to-book)

I agree. I hate the world “blog.” And “Blogosphere” makes me want to commit crime. If I could wear normal tshirts, I’d be wearing this one. All the time.

But I was thinking yesterday that a LOT – as in more than three of the last 5 books I’ve read – have used the word “scudded” to describe clouds moving across the sky. What happened, was it the “writer’s word of the day” while manuscripts were being composed? I’ve seen it in a few contemporaries and a few historicals, too. It’s like the new version of “pelisse-” remember when every historical heroine had to put on a pelisse at some point and it was never sufficient protection from the elements?

Has anyone else noticed certain words in romance fiction becoming “trendy” for a time, to the point where you get incredibly tired of them? Not just sexual terms, either, though we’ve talked about that. More like words that seem to spread like viral videos from one set of books to the next. Anyone else notice this or am I just nuts?


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    EmelineGreen says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but for a while there, it seemed like every heroine was performing a task “with alacrity.” I kind of hate “alacrity.” It feels like broken concrete in the mouth, and it’s the aural equivalent of asaparagus.

  2. 2
    Poison Ivy says:

    Hey, remember “camp”? It was everywhere, and now it is nowhere but in our nostalgic memories. If we are older than dirt. 

    Yes, genre writers tend to employ whatever the latest words are, thus making themselves very much of the moment. And dead as a doornail once the moment is over.

    “Dead as a doornail” being at least a 16th century English term, as you may know. Perhaps older. But still lots of fun to use.

  3. 3
    SarahLynn says:

    A trend that I have noticed in the past couple weeks is everybody putting “i” (as in iPod) in front of a word as the title of their website or application.  So far I have seen iPredict, iRead, and iListen.  That needs to be on a list of emerging annoying internet trends.

  4. 4
    kpsr. says:


    (sorry, i couldn’t help myself)

  5. 5

    I think Rosemary Rogers pioneered the use of the word “pinion”, as in “He pinioned her wrists behind her and kissed her savagely on her trembling lips.”

    I haven’t seen that word used in ages, not since the bodice-rippers went out of style.

  6. 6
    carolyn says:

    Google is trying to co-opt i to function like My. I wish they would stop.

    iGoogle = still sorta lame version of MyYahoo

  7. 7
    Myriantha Fatalis says:

    There seem to be a large number of Regency heroines that are currently busy “crunching their toast” at breakfast.  Crunching?  It sounds so…unladylike.  Won’t someone please tell these girls to chew with their mouths closed?

  8. 8
    cara says:

    Padded v.
    “She padded to the refrigerator”

    It makes me think of fat feet. eewww!

  9. 9
    Charlene says:

    Peripatetic was common a few years back. Every wanderer, every loner was “peripatetic”.

  10. 10
    iffygenia says:

    I like “peripatetic”.  Too bad it’s been overused.

    “Padded”… maybe you could think cushy slippers.

    Overuse is one thing.  But Cheryl Holt has single-handedly ruined a lot of good words for me.  She misuses them so badly.  Er, I mean she has ruinously maltreated those terminologies of romantic purport.  Egregiously, at that.

  11. 11
    Jeanna says:

    Padded just annoys me, you’d think they’d have a thesaurus around somewhere.. there are other words to us. Though I think using “scurry” is just as bad and reminds me of mice.. as a matter of fact they both do..

  12. 12
    cara says:

    Sometimes, just using the word WALK would get the point across.

    Some of those other words make me want to throw a thesaurus at the author too. Some I’m gonna have to look up dammit.

  13. 13
    Jepad says:

    I tried to think of word overuse and couldn’t really think of one, at least across multiple authors.  I know some authors have serious problems with recycling terms over and over, especially in series. 

    I’m clearly not reading the same books because I haven’t come across peripatetic in years.  Great word.

    I think worse is authors that toss in a “big word” and clearly don’t know what the word means or how to use it.  I’m still shocked at the author that misused ambivalent.

  14. 14
    iffygenia says:

    I like “scudded” where its specific meaning adds to the description.  Scudding means moving swiftly, especially as if driven forward by strong wind.  Scudding clouds add to the motion in the scene, or even show a storm building.  Using it every time there’s a cloud is lazy at best, inaccurate at worst.  But substituting a word like “drift” can change the meaning.

  15. 15
    OpenChannel says:

    Padded sounds like a large cat walking. The tiger padded across the jungle floor…

    Blog used to bug me until I became a blogwhore myself. Netiquette doesn’t bug me, but “blook” and “folksonomy” are just wrong.

    What can one do once the words have become common use? Why isn’t there a poll on these words first, a public multiple choice of some sort?

    I’m fascinated by the invention of new words and how long they take to invade our speech. When I taught high school, I used to have one of my classes invent a new slang word and start using it to see if it would catch on. Sometimes we’d overhear other students using the word.

    Hey – we should come up with a new word and swear to secercy while we see how long it takes to catch on!

  16. 16
    iffygenia says:

    I learned “man titty” here, and I use it.

    Entirely too often.

    Oh, and I snorted inappropriately when someone said “What what” last night.

  17. 17
    Qadesh says:

    Am I the only one who had never heard of folksonomy?  Had to read the article to learn the definition.  I’m probably betraying my ignorance, but what the hey.  I don’t mind the internet words all that much.  Yes, they can get rather annoying but I would much prefer them to the rise of internet spelling.  The “kewl’s” of the world annoy me to no end.  I can take the occasional usage here or there, but when they florish with abandon in a post or blog I tune out and wander somewhere else.

  18. 18
    kathie says:

    Nora Roberts, much as I love her, uses “scoops” constantly.  She scoops her hair, she scoops up her kid, she scoops up the mail, etc., etc.

  19. 19
    Ann Bruce says:



  20. 20
    NTE says:

    Recently I read a book where the hero calls the heroine minx.  Repeatedly.  As in, at least once every three pages.  I could not finish the book.  Even though I generally don’t mind the word, I just couldn’t handle the overkill.

  21. 21
    SB Sarah says:

    Words like “minx” bug the heck out of me because I don’t ever hear people using them out loud. “Minx” just doesn’t roll off the tongue easily and if I’ve heard someone say it, it was a joke or just smarmy, or both.

  22. 22
    Lynne says:

    I remember “pinion” from old Harlequins, and I agree that it’s annoying. Those books always had one piece of clothing “teamed” with another. Heh. You could almost come up with a lexicon of weird Harlequinese.

  23. 23
    Emily says:

    Maybe we’re still in the “cock” phase, I don’t know. I’ve yet to find a phallic euphemism that I like, but even the very literal cock sounds very unromantic, to me. Like, cockslapping. Sounds painful. A cock is something that slaps you. You wouldn’t date a cock. A cock wouldn’t take you out to dinner and talk about shared interests with you. You call the cops on a cock. You get a restraining order for the cock and wish you never had his baby and now the cock’s on Jerry Springer because the tramp he dated behind your back is actually lesbian lovers with his sister.
    Plus, cock is very high school lexicon, for me. Slightly stronger comrade of “dick”. Dick is for middle school, cock is for high school/college.
    Has anyone used dick in a novel, yet? In a love scene? Please? Just for kicks?

  24. 24
    Lynne says:

    I think Robin McKinley’s Sunshine used “dick” in a quasi-love scene, but that book wasn’t quite a romance.

  25. 25
    Janetm says:

    Juncture, or even, strangely, junction of thighs—well, I guess a big choo-choo might come thundering into the junction, so it’s a metaphor that works altho possibly not in the way the writer intended.

    Laving. All that damn laving. From, I believe, the Latin ‘to wash’ so it’s less an erotic caress than an enthusiastic young Labrador expressing how glad he is to see you.

    And the nubs, My god, it was the pebbled nubs, to paraphrase Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  26. 26


    It would be nice if there were a formal poll, wouldn’t it? Then we could stomp out this nasty, clinging little words who don’t know their places from moving up in the world. Alas, all we get is the informal poll of usage by the great unwashed masses.  And so many of them are teenagers these days! 

    Qadesh, I admit I didn’t know folksonomy either.  After reading the definition, I’m still rather curious about the etimology of the darn thing. Ah well.

  27. 27
    che says:

    One of those Internet words that annoy me is the intentional typo of “teh” for the. I can tolerate it for an occasional phrase as in “teh cute!” or in a snarky blog entry, but when it’s sprinkled throughout a rather serious blog entry, it is rather jarring.

  28. 28
    OpenChannel says:

    At least “kewl” I know what that means. I’ve gotten a few e-mails from some of my younger students and I can’t even interpret them. I asked one student if she could send me a glossary of terms so I could read her e-mail messages.

    Emily, clearly you haven’t been to:

  29. 29

    I don’t mind the internet terms…on the internet. Not used in normal everyday speech (unless perhaps you’re talking about the internet) I admit I still use REAL words in my SMS messages as well (am I showing my age??)

    The one word that no one has yet mentioned that always jumps out at me is “glowered” – why is everyone always glowering across the room?

    I haven’t read a Jayne Ann Krentz book in years now, but why were all her heroines red-headed chicks who had lived a “near cloistered” existence. Just once say she was inexperienced!!

  30. 30

    While we’re on the subject, pretty much all hacker-wannabe terminology drives me bonkers.  like wOOt. What in the hell is a wOOt?  I have no clue.  At all. 

    But then again, I had an editor tell me not too long ago that I shouldn’t use big words like incongruous.(she had to look it up, apparently)  So, perhaps I should be wOOting more frequently than I am….whatever the hell wOOting is.

    And yes, just out of revenge I whipped out *defenestration* in my next ms.  She REALLY loved that one.

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