On being lovely

It’s really tough being so lovely.

When I was a student of English at university I was informed by one of my British lecturers that you should never use the word ‘nice.’ It was an insult.

But I do use it, because I find it nice (!) and useful, and intend no bad meaning when I do. It’s like ‘interesting.’ That is also a negative word. It’s the word used by the Resident IT Consultant whenever I used to cook a meal with mustard for flavouring. (He likes mustard, as do I. I just seemed to have a knack for getting it wrong.)

But ‘lovely,’ well that’s another thing. That too is bad. Maybe. When I mention someone as the ‘lovely XX’ I mean it. The real lovely, not the insult. But it does appear to be shorthand for how to seem polite while actually meaning the opposite.

Lovely, isn’t it?

Bloggers are lovely. This is how we are addressed in countless emails from publishers’ publicity departments. ‘Hello lovely bloggers!’

Blogging itself has become an ugly word in my eyes. I used to describe myself as a blogger, but these days I will use any euphemism I can, given the particular circumstances, to describe myself in some other way. I don’t want to be herded into a group of people I have little in common with (apart from the fact that we all write blogs). Nor do I want to be despised, by anyone.

I’m a writer, or I review books, or I write for Bookwitch. I don’t blog.

There is nothing – well not much – wrong with chicklit. But it is not my religion. At all. Not long ago I was informed that I am a #banshee. No, I’m not. Not even close. If you can identify the book that it is connected with, I can only apologise, and point out that this PR effort turned me right off the book in question.

I’m not playful. I’m sure you can all agree with that. I’m an old fogey, but can still read, and hopefully provide OK-ish reviews.

Was very surprised some time ago when there was a blogging award, and how one author wrote about his introduction to the blogging world, and its enormous importance, by his publisher. They may have said the bloggers are important, but that’s possibly only as true as the fact that half of us were made into banshees. Lovely banshees, but nevertheless.

What I sense when getting those ‘hello lovely bloggers’ emails is that we are a nuisance. Too many of us, too greedy for books, but can’t be ignored – yet – and might come in handy one day. And we are all young and full of fun.


Even my own blogging software knows I’m a writer of few brain cells. It has had a new posting page for some time (so I suppose it’s no longer new, really), which makes posting so much easier. Apparently. I took several looks at it and couldn’t work out how to do what I wanted to do and what I had been doing for eight years, and found I could still switch back to the other kind of page. But it’s getting harder and harder to get the software to allow me to revert. When I fail to remember to use the secret route there, I am greeted by a chirpy message saying ‘beep beep boop’ which drives me bonkers. And it calls out ‘lookin good!’ as though I need the reassurance, and as if it can actually read and judge these things.


7 responses to “On being lovely

  1. V. Kathryn Evans

    No! Lovely can’t be a stolen word. No, Lovely is as Lovely does. But I also like ‘nice’ and I want to take it back! What’s wrong with nice anyway? I like nice

  2. Up to a point Lord Copper.

  3. It’s the lovely Kathryn Evans!! (You’re so nice you need two exclamation marks.) Yes, it’s time to claim back. Will you tell the publicists, or shall I?

  4. I know what you mean, Bookwitch. I really mean lovely, when I use it. I call people whom I really think are lovely, lovely. Any word with love in it needs to be used judiciously, else it just loses its meaning. But nice, used to be used for something executed in an exacting manner. So, nicely done, lovely. Smiley face. Wine glass.

  5. Ha – this made me laugh. For lots of reasons, but also I too cannot fathom the new ‘posting experience’ on WordPress. I was QUITE happy with the other one, thank you very much. And, like you, am finding it harder to make the software show me the version I want and can understand. And what’s with the ‘Howdy, Jo!’?! Am I a cowboy?!

    I don’t mind being addressed as a lovely blogger, though. I like the idea that I’m part of a blogging community, even if only on the fringes and one who rarely tweets because she just can’t be bothered.

  6. Howdy there, you lovely blogger, I mean Jo.
    I think what I object to is that it’s like the word ‘girl’ in the negative sense, like not a full value proper adult. And if that’s how they address newspaper editors it’s not surprising it’s hard to get reviews. If they don’t, then I don’t see why the rest of us are so lovely, either.

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