Kate R. blogged that she can spot everyone else’s overused words, but not her own. Which got me thinking:
1) I don’t know quite how I feel about overused words. Sometimes, as in the case of Barbara Hambly‘s use of “chiaroscuro,” the word feels like an old friend. Other times, seeing the same word or phrase over and over again can set my teeth on edge. David Eddings is often criticized for recycling plots, characters, etc, but it was his overuse of the phrase “kind of” in character dialog that made me throw the book at the wall. Big book, poor wall.
2) What are my overused words? A quick survey of my current WIP yields the following suspects: penchant, languor, cruel. Also, I freely admit my abuse and misuse of the word “also” in correspondence and blog posts.
3) I know I have some kind of nerve to solicit comments (my highest count ever is, like, 6) but what are your overused words? Are there any authors/words that drive you crazy?