Don’t smirk at me

smirkerI hate authors using the word ‘smirk’.  In a typical week, I will come across four or five characters smirking away.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against someone having a sneaky mean grin at someone else’s expense – but the vast majority of the time the author means ‘smile’.

People don’t smirk when they are happy with someone else.  They don’t smirk to show genuine whole-hearted approval.  They don’t smirk to express joy.

Please please please – if your character is about to smirk, look at the following check list:

Are they amusing themselves at someone else’s expense?

Are they being insufferably smug?

Are they silly and conceited?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then smirk away.  If not, let them smile, grin, laugh or beam.

(0r put more simply, cats smirk, dogs smile.)



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April 30, 2014

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