Friday, 1 June 2012

Spherical like twin suns

Mmm, reading over my purple and beige prose post and thought I'd do two things. The first is a semi-apology.

The comment I made about Mills and Boon fiction was unfair. It's published literature, with is actually bought and is a whole lot more popular than I am. Thus despite how infamous Mills and Boon romance is for purple prose, I should not have made the joke.

The second thing I wanted to do is a semi follow-up on my "orbs" comment.

This is something I did after a discussion on the subject (it was long and hilarious). You see, I frequent this "writing forum". It's not actually strictly a writing site, but there's a small subsection in it for writing and it's full of amazingly helpful people. We just happen to have a list of pet hates. The word "orbs" being one of them. Here's a dictionary(ish) entry:


What you think this is an appropriate term for: Eyes.

Why you think you should use it: The Free Dictionary lists it as a synonym for eyes and it's so much more interesting than eyes. I mean, how often do you see "orbs" compared to "eyes"? Never mind that eyes aren't spherical, it's artistic license at the end of the day - no-one will question it!

Why you shouldn't: An orb is a sphere or spherical object, and I hate to break it to you, but your eyes aren't actually perfect spheres. If you ever see anyone with orbs for eyes, then you have two options: run away quickly or find a doctor for this poor person. It falls even further when you describe a colour too. Eyes have whites, irises and pupils and giving the orb a colour suggests that it is entirely that colour, when if you say "green eyes" everyone knows that what you really mean is that their irises are green. And artistic license? That only goes as far as your reader's willing suspension of disbelief honey. Which doesn't (or at least shouldn't) extend to human eyes being described as spherical things.

A better term would be: The one you substituted out in the first place. There is nothing wrong with saying "eyes". Everyone has eyes, it's not a cliché but a fact.

We have a bunch of metaphors we hate, but this is the only one I ever got around to writing a definition for. Though I was asked to do more, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Plus this particular one was an amalgamation of two versions I did and wanted them to pick between...

See y'all next time.

1 comment:

  1. The title now makes no sense due to all of the stuff I took out of the definition... Hmm... Changing the title from "What impressive...ah, this is awkward" to "Spherical like twin suns".