Originally Posted by mbovenka
OK, I just looked up 'subniveal' in the book. Yeah, I'd have gotten the rough meaning from context (the actual sentence being 'The thaw continued overnight, and lawns that had been totally subniveal the day before were now resurfacing in patches of irregular green under a blue sky.'), but I'd probably have looked it up to be sure.
Knowing nothing of the book in question, that looks, to me, like an author throwing around vocabulary for the sake of it. It's far too wordy IMO, indicating unfamiliarity with the word.
'The thaw continued overnight, and l
[. L]awns[,] that had been totally
subniveal the day before[,] were now resurfacing in [irregular] patches of irregular
green under a
That said, I'm neither a writer nor editor.