I’ve been thinking recently about one of the little things that a lot of authors do that bothers me, a lot. I’m not sure why so many do this. Maybe it is a misunderstanding of the language. Perhaps it is a shift in definition. Reading along and the character shakes their head in the story and I automatically think ‘no’, then, immediately afterward the author says in affirmation or ‘yes’ to the shaking of the head. I’m sorry folks, but shaking your head, a side to side motion, is a definite negative. The positive, yes, is indicated with a nod, an up and down motion, of the head. It can be confusing when reading along and someone shakes their head in agreement, or shakes their head yes, or some other such affirming description. There I sit, shaking my head in disappointment, this should not be. At this point when I read that someone nods their head in agreement or approval, then I too nod my head, “Yes, this author gets it.”
There are other little things that occur which bother me, but nothing else occurs as often as the misuse of shaking the head. Please authors use the correct body language symbolism. In real life if someone says yes but is shaking their head they really don’t agree. The body language speaks more honestly than the mouth.
May all your words be meaningful,