June 21st, 2007


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: Ep. 1, Pretentious Vocabulary & Fun Facts

I ran across "cathected" last night in the novel I'm reading, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. The author used it in the phrase, "cathected young women." I couldn't find this word in my unabridged dictionary, so I looked it up online. "Cathect," which means a strong emotional investment, is actually a verb form of "cathexis," (which isn't in my dictionary either... I need to get a better dictionary!). The adjective form of cathect is "cathectic," not "cathected." Thus, "cathectic young women.'

I find it grating when authors try to sound all literary and stuff by using obscure vocabulary. When they're not even using their thesaurus-based vocabulary words correctly, I just wanna slap 'em! Smug, pretentious jerks!

On top of which, this guy can't do math: this author was talking about a freezing cold river being "22.2 degrees Celsius." I thought maybe it was a typo, but then he spelled it out in words: "twenty-two degrees Celsius." That equates to about 72 degrees Fahrenheit... about as warm as the water in Hawaii!

Further... as you know by now, I'm somewhat cathected by pretentious vocabulary and simple factual errors in fiction novels, so I'm going to keep hammering on this, but I'll spare you with a cut... Collapse )