Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another pet peeve

Bemused - bewildered, confused or lost in thought.

Amused - entertained, mirthful.


I'm reading some gay-themed young adult novels right now (I'm trying to write one and am getting a sense of the genre). The author whose books I'm currently reading uses bemused for amused with alarming frequency.

At first, I assumed it was on purpose. After two books where he does it repeatedly, I'm thinking it's not.

Would it be tacky to e-mail him and explain the difference? Or should I just give it up since no one at Simon & Schuster seems to have noticed either.

Do you have any similar pet peeves?

UPDATE: The author in question was Brian Sloan and the books were Tale of Two Summers and A Really Nice Prom Mess. Despite the bemused/amused thing, they were both good books. Sloan manages to create characters who really sound and act like teenagers; a rarity in young adult literature (at least based on what I've read so far). And the stories are amusing on top of that. In fact, I'd love to see A Really Nice Prom Mess as a film. Read them if you're interested in the genre.

And he's also the writer/director of the film WTC View which is on Logo now. I haven't seen it yet, but I intend to. But if I hear bemused used incorrectly . . .

13 comments:

Dantallion said...

This is a published author? What, there was no budget for an actual editor?

Adam875 said...

Do I??

Could care less instead of Couldn't care less. If you could care less, you care at least a little.

Nonplussed means confused, not, as most people think, unmoved. This once gave a friend of mine the golden opportunity to actually say "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." to a guy who was hitting on her in a bar.

And my biggest: For god sakes. This means nothing. It's For god's sake, ie, for the sake of god. I'm talking to you, Desperate Housewives writers!!

I could go on, but I have my own blog for that....

Jeff said...

Dilemma. Nobody seems to get that a dilemma is a choice between two options, neither of which is desirable.

Well, they don't get it until I beat them senseless with the dictionary. Maybe you could try that?

Adam875 said...

Actually, Jeff, dictionary.com has "any difficult or perplexing situation or problem" as the 2nd definition for dilemma.

Sorry to be That Guy, but I got scared that I'd been using it wrong all this time so I had to look it up!!

Marc said...

Oh yeah, I agree with Adam. I could care less annoys the fuck out of me, just like for God sakes does. Alls I know is another phrase I find used with alarming regularity. And I don't care if irregardless is listed in the damned dictionary, it's not a word! The fact that it's used regularly in speech by dim bulbs doesn't make it any less wrong.

It also burns me up when people who don't know how to properly hyphenate do so, apparently because they've seen it done and think it is the only way that phrase should be written. On an Astoria Federal ATM enclosure I recently saw a sticker that read "This ATM is open 24-hours."

But I suppose some of the most annoying literary indiscretions of all (for me) occur when people totally assassinate common phrases or colloquialisms. Someone I work with routinely writes, "it is a mute point" and another often uses the phrase "at the same token" in his write-ups. I want to throttle both of them. Note that I didn't say "the both of them." Grrrr.

Thanks. I needed to get that off my chest.

scottk said...

the could/couldn't care less thing drives me batty !! also when peolple say "alls I'm sayin' ...it is all your saying not alls ya'll.


P.S. Did you get your invite for the Book club from Spider(brett) ?

Spider said...

Ending a sentence in a preposition drives me crazy!

Lee said...

Yeah, the "I could/couldn't care less" error gets to me as well as the incorrect use of the apostraphe.

jeremy said...

"Anyways" drives me crazy.
As for irregardless--I know its not a word, just like I know irridiculous is not a word, but I like to say them anyways.

Alan said...

"Acrosst" As in, the Starbucks "acrosst" the street. I'm not even sure what the t is for. Or are they saying "acrossed"? Irregardless of which one they think they're saying, its still something I could care less about. :)

Adam875 said...

Oh, and "impactful."

And misused quotation marks and apostrophes (much like the bad hyphenation).

Jeff said...

Truth be told, Adam, I discount that second definition of "dilemma" as something that came to be accepted because people couldn't be bothered to learn the proper first definition of the word. (True, I know it's in dictionary.com. I looked it up too. I continue to take issue with it because, well, I can, and there are so many other fine words that could be used in its place for that meaning.)

Wow, when did I become the language Nazi?

So, in summation, it's okay to be That Guy, because I'm That Other Guy. You know the one.

Gumby said...

I have a co-worker who uses "whence" when he means "when". English is not his first language, and I actually told him the real meaning of "whence". And he stopped for a while. The most recent document he put together, he's back to using "whence" again.