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Is sparkle correct in this context?

Is "Sparkle" used for positive thoughts or is it also possible to use it for negative thoughts? What is better alternative? (If any)

What will happen if we die? What will happen if the police catch us? What will happen if they kill us? All these thoughts were sparkling in my mind!

I also can say occur (All these thoughts were occurring in my mind!).

Which one is more correct? Do you know a better word for using in this context?

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migrated from english.stackexchange.com Feb 22 '12 at 10:35

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

Closed as vague and unanswerable. If you intend for this to be a critique question, please see out critique guidelines. Edit this into a proper critique question and we'd consider reopening. If you want to ask about the meaning of the word "sparkle", then this shouldn't have been migrated here. Could you please clarify? – Neil Fein Feb 22 '12 at 16:34
Consider the following: What are you trying to achieve? What effect do you want the word use to have? Can you provide more context? – Neil Fein Feb 22 '12 at 17:33
Below is a link to a similar question. I don't agree that this question is vague or unanswerable. It's a simple yes or no type question with a request for other options. I don't think it is so much about a critiques as it is about proper word usage. writers.stackexchange.com/q/2280/2343 – Steven Drennon Feb 22 '12 at 20:12
@StevenDrennon: You can vote to reopen the question. – John Smithers Feb 23 '12 at 11:57
I don't understand this central line of your edit: "I want to transform the unpleasant and stressful thoughts that become in mind of the reader." You want to change the unpleasant thoughts? Into what? Or do you mean you want to portray the unpleasant thoughts? I do not understand if you are deliberately using this word in an unusual, nonintuitive way (for a dissonant effect), or if you want to use the word "simply" and with "normal connotation." – Standback Feb 24 '12 at 6:33
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Sparkling is a bit odd in this context. Sparkling means a light (or many small lights) flashing quickly. It has a connotation of being decorative, or pretty, or expensive (like diamonds, for example). If what you mean to say is that these various ideas were occuring quickly and then being replaced by the next idea, then "flashing through" might be a more appropriate choice than "sparkling in".

locked by Community Jun 4 '12 at 15:44
I agree that "sparkle" is odd, but "flashing" is a bit of a cliche. Better than sparkle, but maybe not the best... – Kate S. Feb 22 '12 at 11:36
@KateSherwood - I agree it's cliche. In fairness, when I answered this question it was on English.SE so style was not my concern, but rather clarity of meaning. – Joel Brown Feb 22 '12 at 12:11
I'm trying to say that all this painful, stressful, disastrous thoughts were becoming into his mind. After each question it fade into new one. I think "flashing through" stil is unable to transform the meaning that I want to say. – bman Feb 24 '12 at 0:34
@Mani - If you want to give the sense that the thoughts are negative, sparkle is definitely the wrong word to use because it has a positive connotation. If "flashing" isn't working for you, you might consider "pulsing", "coursing", "racing" or "marching". These don't have the connotation of fading, per se, but they get across the notion that each idea is replacing the one before it. – Joel Brown Feb 24 '12 at 12:27

I agree with Joel Brown's post. Moreover, sparkle usually has a positive connotation; hence, thoughts about "dying" and "getting caught" wouldn't "sparkle" through the mind - it's too awkward.

What presents would she get for her birthday tomorrow? What kind of cake would they eat? Would her parents buy her that shiny new bike? All these thoughts sparkled in her mind!

The use of the word "sparkled" might be more acceptable here, where the thoughts revolve around a brightly excited anticipation, as opposed to panic and dread.

locked by Community Jun 4 '12 at 15:44

Just some ideas - maybe crashing through, whirling, spinning, might work? Or "all the horrible scenarios played themselves out in my head". I agree with J.R.'s post - Sparkle usually has a positive connotation and so doesn't sound right when used in the setting you described.

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