by K.E. Brown
So I have this thing about words.
I love them. More than love, I am obsessed with them. If words were a person, I would have been issued a restraining order long ago. If words were a movie, I would be at the midnight release in costume. If words were a book…. wait, that sentence feels reduntant. The point is that words, the way words came into common vernacular, and the different ways that people use words is my brain candy.
So when I see a word consistantly missused, I get very defensive of the poor thing. Today’s shining example is the word “Plopped”.
“Plopped” is an onimonopia* that describes the sound that a liquid or amorphous solid makes when it is dropped onto a taught surface. It has since been mangled to the point where it can be used to describe the sound of anything being dropped onto a surface which irks me but I’m not really losing any sleep over it. The important thing is that it is an onimonopia** and is therefore treated accordingly when used in a sentence.
So when I see authors using “plopped” to descibe something being placed somewhere with no sound whatsoever, I begin to question the state of publishing.
I recently came across a book by a YA author who I really enjoy and respect (and who shall remain nameless because pointing fingers is rude and unnecissary). Her books are fun and fast paced and her writing always gets the job done and gets it done well. In one of her more recent books, however, I read this sentence;
He plopped the corner of dry flakey croissant bread with dry flakeychocolate into his mouth? Really? It made a noise that could be described as plopped? I think somebody didn’t quite follow the recipe when making your pain au chocolat if it’s plopping. Or maybe they didn’t cook it all the way. OR, you know, there was possibly a more accurate verb for that particular sentence.
The moral of this story is that words are not just important, they are crucial. And you can’t just arbitrarily search “put down” on thesaurus.com, close your eyes, and pick a word.
*Word that replicates a sound for those of you who slept through the second grade 😉