Wednesday, August 05, 2009

OHMIGOD

I have had this on my mind all day and thought I would see what others think. I was criticized for using this word "OHMIGOD" several times lately and wondering if I am missing something here.

I entered a contest and looked back over the comments to help me polish the work when I noticed it the first time. The reviewer had circled the word every time I used it, which was three times in two chapters. On the last time she circled she wrote, "I don't know why you use this word, no one talks like that but lamb little teen aged girls. I now think I know why she did not give me a great score.

On the next time (different novel) I was criticized for using it the reviewer wrote, "I started to stop reading right there. You need to never use ohmigod in your writing, it is a big turn off to readers."

So, I have had this on my mind today and wondering what part of the world would think like this. I know a lot of professional people who use these words all of the time. To me it is very common place and is part of the way Americans talk and the way I know many people from around the world talk.
The question I have for everyone is. . . Am I wrong? If so, enlighten me.

Johnny Ray

12 comments:

Archana said...

The use of the word is awright, if it is done sparingly. It shouldn't be used as a prop to open or close a conversation.That will sound awkward. Some people use it quite liberally , thereby giving an artificial effect. Do use it when u r genuinely surprised

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

I don't know if I would specifically think much if I read it once or twice in a story. It would annoy me if I saw it printed a lot. I don't really care for it. That is just me though.

gabriele said...

This is funny, John. I have this Irish friend who lives in Northern Spain near Bilbao. He is is a writer by the name of Ivor Alexander but has never published anything, as yet. He also studied English literature and graduated. May be that is his problem. So far he is the only person who used to say ohmigod often. I never forgot his strange way to write it.

Gabriele again said...

It is not accepted by the church and the Christian religion to use the expression "Oh my God" as it is not meant as a prayer. One shouldn't even use the word God like that in casual conversation. That's what my son once told me. It makes sense, in a way. So, joining the words when writing is a compromise, I feel. What the heck has that got to do with little girl talk? This is all about finer nuances in social every day life.

Ghostwoods said...

I certainly associate a run-together 'ohmigod' with teen girls. Very few adults think of the phrase 'Oh my god' as being run together, regardless how it comes out of the mouth.

As for possible religious offense... That call is up to you. I don't write with religous sensibilities in mind, but I doubt the touchily devout read much horror anyway.

Anonymous said...

First of all, you should spell it Omigod, or OMG, and only use it ironically, like you know, as if you were a, you know like, teenager or were writing an ad for like,Gossip Girl or something. Check out my blog where, OMG, I just posted something on TMI.
www.i-cant-believe-im-not-bitter.com

Libertine said...

It's difficult to judge not knowing the context you used the phrase. I, however have no problem with this. Used in the right text it does reflect the modern language and even spelling. But then again, I'm just a mere reader and only amateur writer...

Glynis said...

Believe it or not, it is the first time I have seen it written this way. Oh my god,is acceptable to me in small doses,(I am not overly religious btw). Here in Cyprus the villagers always spout off, Panagia mou..oh my god, bearing in mind how deeply religious they are, I think a small sprinkling in your book for them would also be acceptable. So a Brit and a few Cypriot farmers give you the okay. I am not sure I like the modern spelling though, but that is just me. ;0

Unpublished (Novel Writing ... barely) Guy said...

Maybe, it depends on how much time you are around preteen girls, whether it be teaching or your own daughter. How much Hannah Montana and other Nickelodeon do you consume?

When I read the phrase in your post, I could hear the preteen voice.

ramica said...

Maybe the "oh my God" doesn't fit with the character of the story your trying to portray.

Algarve Tour Guide said...

I dont think y 're wron... but who an I to judje?
- I have a question based on thisb paragraf:
"On the next time (different novel) I was criticized for using it the reviewer wrote, "I started to stop reading right there. You need to never use ohmigod in your writing, it is a big turn off to readers."

Why the editor told this? What was the context?

Yordie Sands said...

I believe that using the word "OHMIGOD" is very common for certain demographics, used mostly female. I believe the issue might be that it is more of a texting type word rather than spoken dialog. "Oh my god" is what almost anyone would say, but "OHMIGOD" is what someone would text. However, I have heard some younger people acutally say, "O M G" instead of "Oh my God". There are other examples, but it looks like texting is making it into English. Good grief.