What does the word “smirk” convey to you? If a character in a book smirks at something said by another character how do you feel about the smirker?
Am I wrong to feel that “smirk” has a negative connotation? And what would be a more pleasant word to use when one character is mildly put off or even amused by another character’s words?
I need help here, because I don’t want to use the word “smirk,” yet all of its synonyms are even more off putting: simper, snigger, leer. Ugh!
Surely “said” is a better choice. Right?