This pedometer geek reader has recently identified what could be new What-the-tuck trends in novels. Because of the predominance of repeated use of particular words and phrases, there are two that I have added to my growing list.
The first is the smirk, which I will credit to another blogger for mentioning the overuse of the word first. What-the-tuck trends is just my term for reoccurring trends in novels. Smirks do, however, appear frequently. One recent romance I read had no less than fifteen uses of the word, and that was after I started flagging them. Okay, I get that people smirk as defined by the dictionary: to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way. But not every smile has to be a smirk especially if the ‘smirker’ (actually smirk is the noun describing someone who smirks) has just met another person in whom they may be interested.
There are plenty of ways to describe smiles besides smirks, yet smiles and/or grins, pleasant, wry, or otherwise, seem to have disappeared from contemporary novels. Smirks, however, are routinely divvied out by handsome, uber-rich alpha males (Combining many previously identified WTTs here) and drop-dead gorgeous young women wearing pencil skirts in stiletto heels (Again, combining many previously identified WTTs) alike. In other words, it is not all one gender here who is smirking, but generally, the propensity is toward the male character. If the word is used correctly as defined by the dictionary, that is one thing, but more often than not, it isn’t. Frankly, if all I saw from a person were smirks, I would consider this person to be a jerk, and I certainly wouldn’t fall in love with them no matter what.
Of course, there are real people who smirk, and that facial expression is obviously different from a pleasant smile. There is one prominent person who often smirks (and is frequently photographed with a smirk on his face) when he makes snide comments or belittles an opponent, but I digress.
Enough about the smirking trend; the second possible What-the-tuck trend is the waggle of the eyebrows, usually made by the handsome, uber-rich alpha male, who is trying to convince the woman of his dreams into bed. While usually done in a comical manner (I guess just in case she turns him down, he can still retain his dignity by claiming it was a joke, of course), it is a weird turn of phrase. I still am trying to figure out just what a waggle is based on the dictionary definition of a side to side motion. Based on the context I think I know what it means, but authors use it randomly (and frequently) assuming the reader will understand. To me, it seems as if it is an up and down motion, not a side to side motion, but is it? Or is it one brow up while the other is down and then reversing them?
Regardless, several recent novels have had the main character waggling his eyebrows. Is it a new WTT trend? The jury is still out on this one, and this inquiring mind wants to know.