Originally Posted by HarryT
What I have learnt is that sometimes authors don't know the meaning of their own words. I'm thinking specifically of the late David Eddings; one of my favourite fantasy authors, but (and I've mentioned this before, for which apologies, but it fits the thread title) he infuriated me endlessly in his "Belgariad" series by referring to an ancient text which he called "The Rivan Codex", but when described, it turned out to be a scroll
. Just in case anyone doesn't know, a codex is a book
- it's what the word codex actually means
, but obviously Mr. Eddings was unaware of this. It's a pity he's died, or else I'd write to him and harangue him about it
Eddings is hardly a Worst Offender. Steven R. Donaldson may hold the crown. If you are going to deliberately use obscure words in your books, it's on you to Look Stuff Up, and make sure you are using them correctly. If you don't...
The opposite is Gene Wolfe, who uses many obscure words, but if you look them up, you discover they are real words, and used correctly in context.
But while I enjoyed the Belgariad, the fact that a Codex was a book, not a scroll, was beneath notice. I was more unhappy that he seemed to have one story to tell, and one cast of characters, and subsequent series had the names changed and the serial numbers filed off but were essentially the same story.