I've recently been reading a lot of Neil Gaiman's books. While he isn't one of my absolute favorite writers, he is very good and I have been enjoying them. His writing style is amazing and I could only dream of being as good. What has struck me as funny, though, is that there is a single bit of linguistic usage that he does in each book that is jarring to me. It's just the one bit and nothing else!
About six to eight times in each book--check out Neverwhere or American Gods, for example--he uses the phrase 'turned on its side' to refer to someone tilting their head to one side. For me it just feels wrong and causes a little mental shudder. One doesn't tilt their head on one side, at least not to the way my mind works. One tilts one's head to one side.
Funny how something so tiny can keep messing with my reading enjoyment!
(Update, for those who may read this in the future) Mr. Gaiman was kind enough to leave a comment which makes me believe that this quirk is not his but rather must come from whomever is 'translating' his work for American English audiences. I found this issue in all three books I recently read--Neverwhere, American Gods, and Anansi Boys--but all were US-editions.
New update as of June, 2014--My thought, above, that this was caused by someone translating between British and US English must be wrong. I just finished reading Good Omens and this 'turned his head on one side' thing occurs three times in it...and it was all in British English.
Those nitty-gritty details - Jo Carroll
39 minutes ago