Friday, January 30, 2009

A Were---What???--When you've squeezed the "were" group just a little too hard and too many times.

I’m an avid fan of the werewolf. Sure he has large teeth, canine breath, and an abundance of body hair, but I don’t judge. Because there is simply something about him that appeals to me. It’s that innate sensuality. That total loss of control and breaking out into another form when the full moon rises. It’s hot, I tell ya.
However, I am not so enthused about the werehyena. Or the wererat. Or any other odd “were” that writers sometimes use.
The “were” prefix is sometimes added to an animal name to denote the animal as a shapeshifter of sorts. It works best with animals that have some sort of appeal whereas popping “were” onto the front of the word “ferret” is decidedly lacking.
Werecougar? A bit hot. Werebeaver? *groan* The visual this conjures has the capacity to undo me and send me into gales of laughter every time.
Just because you CAN pop “were” onto the beginning of a word doesn’t mean you should. Forgo being the writer who uses the term “werearachnid.” MaryJanice Davidson did but that doesn’t make it right. And by the way, I’m fairly sure she has a bit more leeway than the rest of us.

I’m all for originality. And it’s mighty tempting to try and boldly go where few or none have gone before.
But here’s the truth: Keep going out on that literary “were” branch and pretty soon the limb shrinks to the size of a toothpick, and you’re left with your butt swaying in the breeze just waiting to drop into the abyss.
Show some restraint. Show some creativity. But for heaven’s sake, don’t show me a werebeaver. I won’t be responsible for my actions.
Crystal Inman*

By the way, I just wanted to say THANKS to all the great ladies here at the blog. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

Clare2e said...

I agree completely! The were-gerbil's not far behind the were-beaver for me, scary imagewise.