Does being annoyed with the word “opined” make me a curmudgeon? Since I’ve probably made every writing mistake known to man, I hate to be a nit-picker. I feel like a raging hypocrite every time I share my preferences or pet peeves in regard to writing.
Is the usage of this vile world mainly limited to the world of theological discourse? The reason I ask is that out of all usages in my Google Reader in the last year, only one wasn’t in a theological posting.
In case anyone wants to know why “opined” has become a thorn to my reading eyes…
- It looks ugly.
- It has a horrid sound, which is probably why people don’t say the word as often as they write it. I bet that very few people who read their writing out loud regularly use it. It is choppy and most readers will momentarily stumble on it.
- As one writing guide has noted, it is outlandish and artificial. There are plethora of words that convey the same shades of meaning in various contexts but look better, sound better, and are far more ordinary (such as”shared”, “suggested”, “said”, “stated”, “expressed”, or “wrote”). By all means use a more boring word!
- It is used erratically. For example, it is usually used in reference to what others do, but rarely to what the person writing does. The awkwardness of saying “I opine” further outlines the outlandishness of the word in general.
Here’s to my hopes that “opined” and “opine” become extinct. Does anyone agree with me?