50 Words of Grey

Last week, I finally finished reading 50 Shades of Grey for the first time.

Honestly I didn’t find it as exciting as it was hyped up to be. The erotic scenes were pretty unspectacular; I’ve read better scenes in non-romance novels. Okay yeah, each scene was still a turn on, but they weren’t what I expected, especially from an erotic romance novel. Perhaps my expectations were higher. Ah well.

But the thing that intrigued me the most was the sheer power of E L James’ vocabulary. She used so many words that I didn’t recognize. I felt like I had to have a dictionary or thesaurus with me as I read the book. Since I didn’t have one of those handy in camp and I didn’t want to waste data on my phone, I just took note of the foreign words and their contexts so I could look them up later.

I found a total of 24 new words. And that’s just in the first book. As of this writing, I’m halfway through book two and I’ve already found 12 new words, not including the original 24. I might actually use some of these new words in my own writing projects.

Me, with my larger-than-the-average-Singaporean’s vocabulary, struggling to understand these words! Imagine just how many words others would have to look up? Words like ‘profligate’ and ‘acquiesce’ were alien to me, although I could guess at their meanings from the context.

(Just FYI, ‘profligate’ means wasteful and ‘acquiesce’ means to accept reluctantly)

Incidentally, I came across a new phrase from one of blogs I follow: Purple Prose. Urban Dictionary defines Purple Prose as ‘a term used to describe literature where the writing is unnecessarily flowery’. And while 50 Shades isn’t overly purple, the writing is quite flowery. I feel that some of these advanced words needn’t have been used. When there are too many unfamiliar words, it really turns the reader off, especially if the plot is as boring as this one. Yeah I said it. 50 Shades of Grey is boring. The only thing that carries it are the erotic scenes.

(I’m fully aware this started off as fanfic from Twilight, so I didn’t expect much plot-wise)

I don’t think this is worth reading again, but I had to read the trilogy at least once so I could form my own opinions instead of just listening to other’s talk about it.

-Jace

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Talk wordy to me

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