Sunday, October 07, 2007

Put Your Eyes Back

On my friend's blog (Speculating about Fiction - link to the right), she has been talking about a few grammar things that bug her, where people use the wrong words without checking their meaning. I've mentioned some here in the past, such as I thought to myself - unless you're writing about someone with telepathic powers, who else would you think to?

But I have recently noticed a physical tag that is absolutely being done to death. It's in everything I read, not just YA, and it's starting to annoy me big-time. It's the eye rolling thing. OK, it can be hard to show emotion, especially sarcasm or exasperation, rather than telling - it's the rule we have hammered into us, over and over. Show, don't tell. But I'm here to tell you - stop the eye rolling!

I've just finished Kathy Reichs' new book Bones to Ashes, and if Tempe Brennan rolls her eyes one more time, they'll pop right out of her head and disappear under the bone table. Next day, I'm reading a feature article in the weekend newspaper and someone starts eye rolling in that too. Is nothing free of the eye rolling phenomena? Is this a new disease that no one told us about? Or have writers everywhere slipped into using it without realising it's about to become a huge, fat, horrible CLICHE?


Anonymous said...

Too true.

I have just finished reading Joel and Cat set the story straight and if there were any more eye rolling in that their eyes would be a revolving door.

I think (to myself!) that I must have seen the feature you are talking about. This cliche is up with with 'I bit my lip until I could taste blood', which is in almost evey YA book.

Sherryl said...

It's like a disease! This morning in the Age, there were rolling eyes in a short piece about Grade 2s in a cafe!

Tracey said...

Maybe they're all living with teenagers. My daughter rolls her eyes at me at least five times a day!