This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Nuts and Bolts: sick lit.

File:Goat Simulator.jpeg
Image by EnderWikiTX

We've had chick lit (light fiction aimed at, and about, young women) for a couple of decades, now. Some of it (eg Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding) is both very enjoyable and very good.

I didn't welcome the term at first, thinking it dismissive and patronising - I was afraid that it would encourage people to dismiss and patronise all books about young women - but, hey, chick lit exists, and we've coped. 

But further delights are crowding upon us because we now have sick lit, a similarly dismissive term which describes books where the illness or disability of a main character or characters is used to add tragic importance to the narrative.

This time, personally, having trudged my way through one or two of these fashionable, self-indulgent, manipulative books, the term fills me with delight.

Word To Use Today: tragedy. It is vitally important to remember when reading sick lit that the word tragedy comes from the Greek word for goat. Tragos is goat and the Greek word for song, oīdē, is mixed in there, too.

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