I recently started reading a book, but decided last night that I’m not going to finish it. When I was much younger, it was a point of honor to finish every book I started – no matter what. Now I’m old. Life is short. If the writing doesn’t grab me – or worse, it annoys me – I move on. This book annoyed me.
So what’s wrong with it? The writer’s main character, an accomplished Australian woman who’s probably in her early thirties, giggled.
That’s right. Giggled. More than once.
It’s not that I’m opposed to giggling in and of itself. We’ve certainly all giggled on occasion at various points in our lives. But I will not read a story where a grown woman’s conversation goes like this:
“Private Investigator Ryan!” Christie giggled as she inserted the long key and turned it.
and . . .
Christie giggled as she climbed the gate in case she was shot as a trespasser.
There were more giggles involving Christie and other women in the story. But not surprisingly, no giggling by the male characters. Giggling usually is presented as a feminine expression of amusement, often accompanied by a hint of shyness or nervousness. Giggling also is something we expect from children, right?
Call me particular (or worse – I don’t care) but I think that coyly substituting “giggled” for “said,” or saying that an adult was giggling at all infers that the character is childish or flighty or in some way just not fully adult. Does anyone else get that?
I have to say, I had no idea that I so heartily disliked giggle until it popped up twice early in this book. It may have backed up the author’s portrayal of a woman who is bright and successful in her work but a kind of insecure door mat in her relationship. I’ll give the writer credit there – if it was intentional. But if she thought giggling made a grown woman sound cute and endearing, I say, oh HELL no.
So, I’m removing giggle from my personal dictionary. Banned from the thesaurus. Screw giggle. It’s never complimentary to anyone past puberty.
Giggle, we’re done.
Are there any words you hate, possibly for no good reason? How do you feel about moist? Pimple? Girdle? I think a number of words ending in “le” are bothersome, although there’s something adorable about puddle.
I encourage you to post your annoying words here. No judgment – and hopefully, we’ll share a few good laughs.
P.S. I wrote this yesterday and left it to marinate overnight (as I often do). An hour or two later, I went to Facebook and my buddy Judith Podell had posted a meme she’d created with words she hates! We must have been on the same wavelength yesterday, my friend. So here’s the post I mentioned. I hope you and your delightful friends will share the words that make them cringe right here. And I’m off to Belgium! Au revoir!