Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Words that make me go EWWWW....

I believe we all have words that make us cringe. And perhaps the feeling is stronger for those of us who write, who make our living by the written word.

The following are a few words that get under my skin like a virus and eat away at me every time I see them on a page, or hear them in conversation. Come, won’t you join me down the path of Dakota’s squig?

Chunk – There is not a single food you are going to get me to put in my mouth if you refer to it’s shape as a “chunk.” No chicken chunks, no pineapple chunks, NO CHUNKS. The very sound of it makes me want to blow them. Yeah.

Preternatural – This one pisses me off to no end because it is not even a real word. It is some bullshit phrase that A.R. came up with and suddenly everyone who writes the genre is supposed to jump on board, (which they did) and regard this world as if it exists. It doesn’t. Let me break it down for you. The prefix “Pre” means before, prior to, etc. Therefore, Preternatural would mean, in it’s essence “before ternatural.” What the fuck is a “ternatural?” Are we in it now and everything else was “preternatural?” I don’t know.

Now, these next few words are in relation to the erotica genre. If you have used these words, well…good for you, I guess. As a writer I wouldn’t dream of using them, and as a reader I would think seeing these words on a page would rip me completely out of the story.

Spunk – I tend to use the word “spunky” to describe my female characters. Therefore if the hero shoots his “spunk” on my “spunky” heroine the reader is lost and the author is in trouble. Best to stay away from this word when describing…release.

Jism – Um…no. My current publisher has a stigma regarding this word, the owner of the company flat refuses to allow it into the books of any of her writers, so I know that I am safe with their books. Any time I see this word it reminds me of being fourteen years old in my father’s closet reading his Hustler Fantasy magazines and giggling like crazy. There is nothing sexy about “Jism.”

Ooze – Okay, nothing should EVER, not EVER EVER EVER, ooze from any character’s lower half. Not EVER. It makes it sound as though they have a horrific disease. There are few people out there clamoring for syphilis porn, so best not to have them ooze. EVER.

Moist – This just leads to all kinds of icky visuals in a readers head. Moldy bread is moist. Towelettes are moist. Your heroine should not be.

Penis/Vagina – We are writing erotica, not sex education text books. I am very happy for any man who, after much struggle with the spunky heroine, gets to put his penis in her vagina. But it doesn’t matter what happens after that because I won’t be reading it. I understand if you have a problem typing out the “graphic” terms for body parts, but if you want to write in the genre you are going to have to get over it pretty quickly. If you don’t, the readers will just get over you.

Now this next one I did read, in a book, and I was so put off by it that I felt a little nauseous. If you are the author who put this phrase in your book feel free to email me. I will be happy to forward you my PayPal account address so you can give me my $7.50 back.

I was like a poop-hole pirate.” – No, you weren’t. And your editor should be shot.

Please tell us what words make you want to kick someone’s teeth in. And have a great Wednesday!

Dakota Rebel


  1. *Ammendment -

    I do have to admit that the word "penis" can be acceptable if the scene in which it appears is written well enough.


  2. whew! was about to go crawl under my rock. Kidding. We all have words we like or don't, but I guess I'm less bothered by some of them than a lot of people. Some of the old purple prose ones really get to me. "Love tunnel" and "Purple-headed warrior."

  3. Actually, I like the word penis. It's functional and descriptive. Some of the purple prose words are embarrassing.

    I've been trying to think of a cool word for the vagina. I think I like kitty the best of the one's I've heard.

  4. I have used both the words penis and vagina in my books. My care factor on whether they are considered acceptable in erotica? Zip.

  5. *snort*
    Dang you are funny! And what exactly does that kind of pirate do? What is he looting and is he using a hook? Ouch.

  6. LOL! This is a 'funny' post. I love it!

    Chunk surely sounds as if you are about to chew iron ( it reminds me of 'The Thing" from the Fantastic Four heroes :D

    I have also never been able to figure Preternatural up till now

    Spunk! I never heard that!

    Jism is a Hindi word meaning Body

    Ooze Moist: ( Yuck)!

    Penis, Vagina : Biology text book for class V

    That last sentence is : beyond. me.

  7. OK, I know I'm late with this (traveling at the moment), but preternatural *is* a real word.

    The prefix is actually from the Latin "prae" meaning outside or beyond.

    So preternatural means outside the natural, or beyond what is usual. So those orgasms in erotic writing: *always* preternatural.