Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I told you not to do that!

No one listens to me... We've already been here before, and here we go again. 

I'm complaining about the misuse of musical terminology in fiction; again.  Writers take heed, for this seems to be the most popular abuse of a word ever: nothing can rise to a crescendo, the crescendo itself is the rise.  A crescendo takes us from one dynamic level over a specific amount of time (i.e. composer's instruction) to a new, louder dynamic that existed before the start of the crescendo.  Something can rise to a new dynamic; a louder volume; higher level of decibels; or escalate to a cluster-fuck of daunting proportion; but, nothing can rise to a crescendo. 

Simply put: a crescendo doesn't rise to a crescendo.  "The drama was intense and events rose to a crescendo."  Authors: insert your own nouns, but stop writing that line.  It Is Wrong.    

For the purposes of fiction, writers are allowed--even implored--to make fanciful figurative analogies to a idea with a very concrete definition.  However, this particular word, crescendo, needs to be called out and placed in check as it has been made abundantly clear that most writers have no clue what it means.   

No comments: