The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Dear all authors everywhere, part two in a never-ending series

Before you refer to a character doing something to a strand of hair, stop and ask yourself: Is this character really tucking a single solitary hair behind her ear? Is a single solitary hair really hanging down in front of her face? Because a strand is a single solitary hair, and if you really mean a tress of hair, or a lock of hair, or, for you edgy contemporary-fiction types who like to use slant as a verb in unconventional ways because you think it makes you all cinema verité and shit, a "wisp" of hair, you should say that. I know many of you like to force words into meanings that do not suit them, as if language were a huge game of Concentration with pliable rubber pieces, but this one isn't just confusing, it's downright unsexy. A strand of hair is something you find in the sink. Please, use a different word.
Tags: attentionauthors, bitter copy editor, hallmarks of bad writing
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