Meet “querulous,” a distant cousin to petulant, our descriptive word in yesterday’s post. Not too familiar with querulous, it surprised me to see “petulant” listed as a synonym for querulous.
Similarities exist, but there are differences as well.
1. full of complaints; complaining.
2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done.
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Children use a querulous attitude to express themselves when not feeling well, when things aren’t going their way, or when they aren’t being amused by someone else. Whining is the only way they have of letting others know something needs to be done. Perhaps it’s hunger or a wet diaper. Maybe they’re teething. But what about older people, like teens or adults.
They too use a querulous posture to get their way — in a relationship, on the job, while socializing with friends. Not as forgivable as in young children, this attitude borders on disgusting in teens and adults.
This young woman may have just learned she is not going out with friends, or getting the keys to the car, or perhaps she isn’t being allowed to get her way in any number of things. Her whining is an example of the querulous attitude in action, her tool in attempting to get her way.
Remember the infant/young child can’t help him- or herself. They have no other mechanism for communicating wants and needs. You may need a querulous young child to build tension between a young married couple in your book or story, or the young whining teenaged girl is the focal point of the novel you’re writing.
Think on these images and tips, and see what you can come up with.
Image attributions may be found by clicking on the image.