So there's this part in A Feast For Crows that really bothers me. Which is doubly upsetting because that's my favourite book in the series - my favorite chapters are Theon's from A Dance With Dragons, but looked on as an overall work, I put FFC at the top.
One thing really bugs me about it, though - there's a line that takes me right out of the book. It's not one of the jokes or references aimed at one of George's friends - I learned about those long after reading the books, and they're largely so subtle that they don't bother me at all. No, this quibble is about language.
Here's the relevant line from the text-
"He brought them the gold they asked for, but they hung him anyway."
"Hanged, Ami. Your father was not a tapestry."
It's an old joke, it's funny and it works, but it still bothers me. Westeros is a fake, continent-sized version of England in an alternate version of Earth (or a terraformed planet in the distant future, depending on who you ask), and as I'm reading the books, I enjoy the various strange flights of language and zoology. They call forts 'holdfasts', and there are still Direwolves and Aurochs wandering around. "Sir" is spelled "Ser".
When Martin has gone through such trouble to come up with so many little ways to reinforce the idea that his world is strange and different and unique, to have one criticize someone's grammar in such a modern way is just puzzling. I can accept dragons and ice vampires with zombie henchmen, and time traveling trees, and psychic wolves, but for some reason, the idea that the people of Westeros, speaking in their common tongue, have the exact same weird rule about using different forms of the past tense of 'hang' to describe people and things is a step too far, and pulls me right out of the book.
Next time: A legit error!