It’s actually still a terrible word

My gang, The Fictionistas, are talking about editing fails this week – what trips us up, words we are (for some reason) in love with, things we can be counted on to get wrong. Since I LITERALLY (used correctly, thank you) just wrote about this, I’m going to go ahead and slide some of it back in here now:

“…Rather than actually writing the unfinished chapters in the second book in my series, I am in fact poring over words and revising and editing what’s already there. I’ve been alerted to the fact (thank you, Matthew) that my hero, Rhuun, likes the word ‘actually’.  To be fair, it’s a terrible word, and he is a demon. He’s also somewhat pedantic and has a peculiar sense of humor. (I know, you can’t wait to read about him, right? What if I added that he’s super hot? Like, flammable?)

Search is a humbling function. I searched for ‘actually’ and found it 19 times in a 388 page document. And Rhuun only says it a handful of times. I got it down to 11, I think that’s fair. (I let him say it a few times, since he does enjoy being right.) Next up, ‘In fact’. I noticed this one myself. (And when you’re revising your own work, doesn’t it seem like someone else did the writing?) People, I found 27 instances. 27! I MIGHT have to cut a few of those. In fact, I might have to actually cut most of them. I have also been warned against ‘endless’ (only three in this MS!) and for some reason ‘coffee’ comes up 17 times.

Search is also sort of snotty. I entered ‘bed’ and it said, and I quote, ‘that shows up a lot!’ Emphasis theirs! What are you, Search, the Bed Police? Maybe he’s tired, after all that correcting people. Let the poor guy take a nap! (This might also explain all the coffee.) Out of curiosity I looked up ‘sex’ and that came up (see what I did there?) 18 times. So, I guess if you subtract 18 from ‘a lot’ that leaves the number of naps? Hey, math is not my subject…”

My friends have turned ‘actually’ into a verb. It goes like this:

“You know, it’s actually a knock-off Iron Man suit that Titus is wearing.”

“Did you just actually me?”

This is an actionable offense.

Here’s your Tuesday afternoon eye-candy – you’re welcome!

I basically accosted him on an elevator and he COULD NOT have been nicer. And he smells llike the first day of spring.

John Barrowman!



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