Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Admit, I Have a Pet Peeve

Today’s blog is really more of a rant about a pet peeve than anything, but it’s a valid pet peeve and so I shall indulge myself.

I recently picked up a novel where the word “admitted” was used about four times, and only three of those times was it used correctly. “Admitted” should be used when your character is saying something that they really don’t want to say but they realize they have to. For instance:

“I killed Molly Malone,” he admitted.

“I have a crush on the guy who killed Molly Malone,” she admitted.

“I hid the letter that contained the secret plans,” he admitted.

However, you should not use that word for simple exchanges, such as the following.

“I’m hungry,” she admitted.

“I’m Molly Malone,” she admitted.

“I have a secret fondness for cream puffs,” he admitted.

“Admit” is a weight-bearing word, much like “confess.” When you see “admit” or “confess,” you automatically gear yourself up for something big, and then it’s a letdown when you don’t get the something big. In addition, because it’s a weight-bearing word, you should only use it once per manuscript. Any word that calls attention to itself by its very nature ought to be used sparingly.

And them’s my thoughts for today.

1 comment:

Keith Fisher said...

You go girl.
"By jove I think you're right," I admitted.

Just pulling your leg. I agree with your assesment. thank you for the advice.

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