“Preternaturally”

I’ve often told students that one of the most glaring scars in amateur writing is the tendency to use their favorite words too frequently.  It’s not unusual for young writers to put something like “obviously” or “perhaps” three or four times in the same paragraph, or even the same sentence.

But the problem is far worse when the word is more obscure and the writer is more experienced.

I haven’t read that many Dean Koontz books, but he clearly loves the word “preternaturally.”  He seems to use it near the beginning of every one of his books that I’ve seen.

Is he just trying to see if anyone notices?  Did he lose a bet?

Part of me wants to go to the library and take all of his books off the shelf one at a time, scanning the first two chapters, just looking for that word.

Has anyone else picked up on this, or is it just me?

It reminds me of this great Kids in the Hall skit:

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