By Elaine Viets
“The walkways were a triumphant imperial purple march of impatience and spiky salvia.”
I wrote that in the manuscript for my May 2015 Dead-End Job hardcover, Checked Out, to describe the garden at the Coronado Tropic Apartments. That’s the home and office of private eyes Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont, in my Dead-End Job mysteries.
Impatiens are flowers. Webster’s says they are: “Any of a widely distributed genus of annual or perennial herbs with irregular spurred or saccate flowers and forcefully dehiscent capsules.”
This photo says it better:
(1) “Not phased by the Oscar winner’s petition to leave matters alone until after the show, the 52-year-old comedienne continued to vent about Whoopi’s actions.”
(2) Another writer talked about “a deep seeded fear.”
Really? Afraid of a tennis player? Eugenie Bouchard has arms of steel, but she’s a top seeded player. What that writer really had was a deep seated fear.
3) I was startled when I saw a newspaper call a neighborhood artsy-fartsy. The author meant that word to be an admiring description of an artistic area, like this street in Greenwich Village.
That neighborhood may be charming or artsy, but artsy-fartsy is no compliment.
(4) Curiosity rises to new heights when it’s peaked. Or peeked.
If you’re curious, this is a peek at Pike’s Peak. Now your curiosity is piqued.
(5) “Do you think Justin died his hair blonde for Selena, Hailey or himself?”
(6) This last one isn’t a homophone, it’s just plain confusing. “The man had a ‘deep base voice.’ ”
His voice was contemptible or meanspirited? I doubt it. William Shakespeare wrote that King Richard III was a brutal, cold-hearted villain, a thoroughly base man. Some historians say Will had base motives, since he was writing for the Tudors, who wanted Richard’s name blackened.
Actually, the man had a deep bass voice.