On my last edit I combed through HATSHEPSUT looking for modern expressions. I pay attention to this when I write (there was one scene where I really wanted to describe a servant nodding like a Dwight Schrute bobble head), but oftentimes those suckers slip right past me.
With the help of an intrepid beta, I think I’ve caught every last one of the slippery guys. Here’s a list of the ones that got axed:
1. Down to the last second. Yeah, the Egyptians didn’t measure time in seconds.
2. His head bouncing like a spring. This was a replacement for the bobble head. Did you know springs weren’t invented until the 1800’s? Now you know.
3. The day was one for the history books. No books in ancient Egyptians. Stick to scrolls.
4. Total ignoramus. Sounds almost Latin, right? Wrong. Ignoramus was a word popularized in 1616 from the play “Ignoramus, or the Academical Lawyer” by George Ruggle. The word does have earlier origins, but not back to 1480 B.C.
5. Leap the hurdle. Not only is it cliche, but the Egyptians weren’t running track and field.
6. Stacked the deck. Also not playing cards. Although they did have board games.
7. Squished a clove of garlic with her fork. They might have been civilized, but there are no forks in the archaeological record. Forks show up in the 11th century when the daughter of Byzantine emperor Constantine Ducas used a little golden one.
8. Encyclopedic knowledge. This one hurt to cut because is was such an apt description, but the Egyptians weren’t using Encyclopedia Brittanica to write research reports.
9. Kowtowing to foreign ambassadors. My wonderful beta caught this one. I suppose the ancient Egyptians weren’t hanging out with the Japanese. Too bad for them!
Is there anything weird you have to watch out for in your genre? Or anything that was especially painful to cut?