Saturday, August 8, 2009

It makes me want to rage...

So I was just skimming a light, summer read sort of book and read something about raging flames. It was the umpteenth time I'd read about some force of nature 'raging'.

Really? Really?!?

Apparently flames, storms, winds, and water can't do anything but rage. Not even on the news.

"Tonight at six: Forest fires continue to rage just ten miles southwest of...."

"Hurricane-force winds raged through this small town last night..."

You get the idea. I can't remember the last time I've read or heard about fires or floodwaters that didn't rage.

And it's ticking me off. I mean, what if the river's just misunderstood? What if it's only mildly irritated?

So please, please help me. Have you heard nature described in any way other than 'raging'? What words were used? Or are there other cliches that make you overreact?

'Cause, yeah, I know I'm overreacting.


Tess said...

My husband and I both grew up (till age 32) in So Calif and we have an ongoing joke about the news saying, "Firestorm 94!" then "Firestorm 95!"

Whenever we see a brushfire or smoke off in the distance we look at each other and say, "Firestorm!"

Sarah said...

Tess, I love it!

That takes campfires to a whole new level:

"We roasted marshmallows over a small firestorm last night..."

Michelle said...

Anyone, in any kind of book, talking "excitedly" or "animatedly" is like nails on a chalkdboard to me. I don't know why, other than the whole, "show, don't tell" thing, and use of unnecessary adverbs.

Sarah said...

Good one, Michelle.

You'd think it would be especially easy to show animated or excited, too.

Anonymous said...

Phew, just checked my MS and am pleased to report, nothing and no one raged throughout the entire thing. Although the word "tragedy" came up a bit more often than I'd like.

The one that's really bugging me about New Zealand news right now is the way they promote the nights news by asking rhetorical questions like "Why does this woman look so grief stricken?" and "What happened that made this local mother start a petition?"

It's oh so annoying!

Sarah said...

Wendy, I hate it when someone tries to make me feel something! Seems like our news likes to make us worry. I think the favorite word is crisis. I wonder if they pick a crisis for each day of the upcoming week.

As far as repeating words, I'm by far the worst Slushie offender. Michelle, bless her, normally ends up highlighting the offending word in my MS.

Which is why I'm so unqualified to go off about 'raging' forces of nature.

Kelly Moran said...

hmm. good point. as a writer, i'll remember that.
love your blog. i'm following you now. you should pop over/follow mine. i have all things books...
nice meeting you.

Sarah said...

So nice to meet you, Kelly! I'll definitely swing past your blog.

I think we all have writing pet peeves. 'Raging' is one of mine. (How did we vent before blogs, I wonder?)

Anonymous said...

That's what makes critique partners such wonderful people isn't it? :) Mine pointed out to me that I use the words "still" and "fade" a lot. And I thought, 'I do not!' then I did a search and not only do I use them a lot, I use them at least three times on every page.

I feel the same about all the "crisis" stuff in the news, and being told how to feel. Just tell me the story and I'll make up my own mind whether I'm sad or not.

So I guess I can't complain about overuse of words either. I guess the good thing is, once you know you do it, you can look for them when you're finished.

Sarah said...

Wendy, so true about great critique partners!