I think it every time I cross it. Just now I was taking a healthy while reading Joe Hill’s 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS when I encountered the term at least twice in the titular story. We all know the intent of the author when they spring the word ‘gooseflesh’. They mean ‘goosebumps’. And when I mean goosebumps, I say goosebumps. When you mean goosebumps, I warrant that you say goosebumps, as well.
Novelists don’t, however. If I were the OCD type, I could keep a tab of authors who voice the term ‘gooseflesh’ and I’d further warrant that 9 out of 10 books on my shelf would be guilty. Yet I’ve never once heard anyone in the real world speak that compound word. Have you? I wouldn’t go so far as to say it drives me crazy, but it does baffle me.
My experience with geese is limited to one of three categories: Geese are either honking at me, biting at me, or getting eaten by me. None of those encounters has ever provided evidence that they are in a permanent state of bumpily skin, but I suppose they must be as both descriptions contain goose. However my protest still stands. Bumps I can relate to, but who the hell says ‘gooseflesh’?