I do nitpick a lot. I’m a big believer in saying what you mean and meaning what you say and not in a totally generic way. So this morning I’m going to say some words and phrases that are on my pet peeves list:
Nude. Unless you’re talking about a painting or a sculpture. There are too many excellent alternatives: naked, bare, unclothed, nekkid.
Throttle. As in “he was going to throttle her.” This is a romance novel classic, and I’ve always wanted to throttle the people who overuse it.
“He threw back his head and roared with laughter.” This never creates for me the image the author intends. Unrestrained amusement? No. Wandering body parts with a bit of lion accompaniment in the background? Yes.
Feisty. Especially in regards to heroines. My Granny Strain was feisty. At 4′ nothin’ and with seven rambunctious kids, she had to be. But do I really want to be thinking of Granny with her chaw and boots every time the heroine comes on the page?
BTW, anyone remember Lewis Grizzard’s comparison of naked and nekkid? “Naked” is when you ain’t got no clothes on. “Nekkid” is when you ain’t got no clothes on and you up to somethin’.