Posted at Apr 14, 2014 12:11 am in Criminitly, Home To Stay, linguistics, mea culpa, not a word
You know how you’ll hear a particular phrase or expression your whole life, but never see it in writing? Yeah. Well. I tried to be cute and incorporated one of these sorts of things into a bit of dialogue in HOME TO STAY. And I missed it by a nautical mile.
The term I used is criminitly, which I now know how to spell. It isn’t really a word, but a Midwestern expression of shock or surprise. Basically, it’s like something Yosemite Sam would have said. A bit of gibberish.
Here’s the thing. I grew up in a predominantly Italian town. (Though I am not even a smidge Italian.) I thought that the people around me were saying crime in Italy, but dropping the a in Italy when they said it. Because that’s how I heard it, that’s how I spelled it.
Wrong wrong wrong. Which, again, I know now. And I should have known before. But I can get stuck on something and I’m very stubborn. (Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you. Especially if they’re related to me.) So in the end, I made a mistake, and that mistake is pulling readers out of my story.
Which is like the number one thing I writer does NOT want to do. So this is my major mea culpa. I shouldn’t have used the expression, and definitely should have done my homework when I did. This in no way should reflect on the editing my book received. Trust me, there were several copyedit and proofing passes and though I can’t say for sure, I’m positive that they either a) tried to correct it and I insisted it stay or b) they assumed it was some expression they’d never heard and that I knew what I was talking about.
Ha! I wish I did.
For those who have yet to read the book, I’ll warn you now. This is going to pull you out of the story. It will make you shake your head and maybe even say “What the…”
I apologize now. And I meant no disrespect to Italy. I’m sure there is no more crime there than anywhere else.