Editors have a word that we use in this situation. When it's absolutely clear that "mellifluous" should be "honeyed," or that "she was dazzled by the prismatic lights" should be "it was a good ham sandwich" or that "her brittle snap of a laugh knifed through his viscera" should be anything else at all, and we can't think of a good way of explaining the change to the author -- or there is no way of explaining it -- we wave our hands and say "awk." Like this: AU: Awk. -- rewording OK?
Not for nothing does this word resemble a death rattle. We use it nonchalantly because authors spook easily, like horses, and for all I know they are ignorant of our desperation and skim right over any change proposed under the aegis of "awk." But if this is true it is only because most of them can't know what it really means. It is supposed to stand for "awkward," but what "awk." really means is this: AU: Why are you you and not a different writer? Can you not hear the heavens themselves bellowing that this phrase is a mistake? It is a brass gong in my brain. Author, why aren't you Melville, why aren't you Millay, why aren't you Woolf, Shakespeare, Homer? Any one of them would have heard the brass gong. None of them would have needed me to explain it, any more than they would have needed me to explain that rain is wet. Author, why are we here? Why don't the gods turn us into trees, for poets to make garlands from? Then the gong would be silent, and we would not offend the silence with scribbling.