People usually inspire hatred in me. I make this point to illustrate that it’s not usually a word that makes me want to spit and throw something at the wall but that’s before I was reading a manuscript which features a synopsis which says – this issue is humorously tackled.
Neither concept is a good idea for a children’s book. If you’re going to have an issue in a children’s book you’d better make sure it’s as well hidden as a finely chopped onion in your onion hating child’s spaghetti bolognaise. The other thing you don’t need in a children’s book or any book for that matter is the word HUMOROUS.
I hate the word humorous. It feels leaden, heavy, grannyish and most of all un-fucking-funny. This humorous tale always means ‘this tale is about as funny as being informed you have AIDS on the day your daughter announces she’s dropping out of school to live with the local heroin dealer.’
Go on – try it out:
You see? It doesn’t work. It’s a smile that doesn’t reach the eyes, a joke with no punchline, a tiresome anecdote told by someone who is oblivious to the strained smiles round the table. I have written a humorous story. No you haven’t. You have written a smug, bland, dreadful story.
Another word is hilarious. I’m not quite as vehement about it but it’s terribly overused. And like forcing rhubarb the word has a forced quality about it. And it’s often used to push something that isn’t very funny. ‘With hilarious consequences’ means I haven’t thought of them yet but they probably won’t be very funny.
Humorous is the worst though. The fustiest, crappest, leadenest worst. Cast it from the English language along with