‘Goodness!’ said Louisa – which alternated with ‘Horror!’ in her small repertoire of interjections, and was more or less interchangeable with it.
– Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger’s Child (Picador, 2011) p. 129.
Do you ever start noticing people’s interjections? If you really start to listen to them, you might start getting annoyed at people. As a child I used to feel angry at the untruthfulness of them. They can rarely be taken literally, and as a child I felt words should be used precisely; I guess I still do. Hollinghurst captures this quirk of social interactions so well in this quote.
I get annoyed at myself when I find myself using interjections I don’t particularly like. My small repertoire is more chameleon like; I hear myself adapting to the people I’m with. It’s passed down the paternal line, this sympathetic adaption; once I was hiking with my dad and a surfer offered us a lift; Dad said, ‘That’d be cool mate.’