Why are there so many words for frown, grimace, and the like, but so few for smile and grin? According to thesaurus.com, synonyms for smile include: “grin,” “beam,” “twinkle,” “smirk,” “simper,” and “leer.” Grin lists: “smirk.” That’s it. And most of those don’t really indicate happiness. If one feels compelled to include a happy scene in one’s novel, it can be tediously irritating to come up with description that is not repetitive. By the time I’m done writing one, the last thing I am is happy.
I just read about a study done by the University of Maryland http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/sociss/release.cfm?ArticleID=1789
indicating that happy people watch less T.V., preferring to read or socialize. This brings to mind the Great Depression, when everyone was so stressed that the public flocked to “happy” movies, with stars like Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Now the hopeless watch T.V. (Dancing with the Stars, anyone?)
Conversely, if people who read are already happy, do they like more depressing fare? Hence the lack of need for “smile” and “grin.” Hmmm.
Maybe I’ll flip on the T.V. I’m still feeling a little down from writing that happy scene.