Write On- Googling the goggling…oh dear….

 Photograph of the authors desk, susan sheldon nolen

Once in a while, a word comes along that really jars you out of the read. I was really into this current novel that I am reading…when I read the following sentence.

She goggled.

What? Googled? That was my first thought and that just shows you how dominate that word has become in my  mindset. It was a short sentence to say the least, so no need to reread it. I had to go back and read the sentence before this one to get context and then jog the old brain cells.

Ah yes..goggled…goggles…eye glasses…expression archaic meaning more than likely… she stare wide-eyed.  Or, she stared with a wide-eyed look of surprise. Or, her eyes bulged with surprise…either way this character was surprised at something.

Okay, I thought, that word probably was in common usage when this story takes place…let it go and get back into the story…but another chapter later, and again, this character goggles, goggled, and goggled again. A very short concise way of expressing her astonishment, which I think used once would have sufficed, and the other times, well, perhaps there were a few other word choices available to this particular author. It  very well may be the correct usage for the word, but when it jars the reader out of the story on to the internet to google the meaning of goggle…you’ve broken that magic bridge and sent the reader crashing back to reality.

I had to fight Google to get the current meaning of goggle, as Google dominates the web searches for more than 25 pages. I don’t give up easily! So I Googled, goggle meaning of, and finally had some success. It was indeed what I thought it meant.

Curious choice of a word and if you are now seeing smoke? Well, that is  my spell checker who now has goggled at this post to the point of exasperation!

Have you come across odd words lately in your reads?

About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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8 Responses to Write On- Googling the goggling…oh dear….

  1. I am struggling through a Chinese novel right now, Susan. The whole book is odd, and I still can’t decide whether I’m going to force myself to finish.

    I would’ve totally thought ‘goggle’ was ‘google’, too.

    • Hi Andra, I’ve run across some novels I just want to throw across the room! Such hard work, but quite often I’ve found forcing the finish of the read does result in good results..even if the end of the novel doesn’t pay off, you always learn what NOT to do! 🙂
      This novel which I just finished was just a nice story with that very odd odd word choice. Goggled! I must force myself not to throw it into a story! 🙂

  2. Gail says:

    This reminds me of the difference in writing styles of my two kids growing up. The younger, my daughter, would never want to use a word in her writing if she didn’t already know the meaning, even if there was a word to more accurately portray what she meant. My son, however, had no trouble looking up synonyms to common words, adopting them as his own, and using them with confidence. One word I remember that he used in something he wrote in elementary school was “pulchritudinous”. Alas, the beauty of it all is that I had to look up the meaning.

    • Hi Gail, thanks for stopping by….but….Pulchritudinous? Where’s google for that meaning! I am impressed! Did your son end up being a writer or continue with such word usage? Really impressed…and I did have to go look up the word.

      PULCHRITUDINOUS= adjective= Characterized by or having great physical beauty and appeal.
      Well well…learn something new every day! 😉

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I sometimes come across nouns that the author has turned into a verb. I know we often do this in speech, and so I could see this being done in dialogue, but it was more jarring to see it done in general narration.

    • Hi Carrie—I don’t know if those authors are doing it to achieve a startling affect or are just not aware of how the reader stumbles across certain words. I think we all pick up our individual word baggage. I dread to think what mine is!

  4. Tom Merriman says:

    I read a document at work today regarding what I thought was ‘exciting problems’, Susan… and I thought it was a rather positive way of looking at said problems… until I careful re-read the line. Exiting problems. It’s comical how your mind will not let you see the proper word, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Hi Tom! Oh how disappointing! Exiting and exciting what a world of difference too bad it didn’t turn out to be an exciting exit! That would have been great fun! 🙂 Maybe you should write up a story?

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