Writing Glitch #132

Today’s (second) glitch:


This sentence has two problems.

First, my should not be capitalized.

Second, a dash used like the one in this example indicates an abrupt change in direction within the sentence, but there is no such change here. I usually avoid semicolons in dialogue, so my choice would be to make the example into two sentences with a period after crisis.

“We can’t have a crisis today. My schedule is already full.”




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Writing Glitch #131

Today’s (first) glitch:


Alas, these teachers who gave the speaker such a love of the English language failed to instill an understanding of why we shouldn’t use a word if we don’t know what it means.

(As it says on a t-shirt, some people use big words just to make themselves sound more photosynthesis.)

Does your love of English embarrass or humiliate you when you read things online? No? Then you’re not mortified.

I’m not going to try to guess (no, that should not be try and guess, as if try and guess were separate actions) what the original writer intended, but I think appalled would be a good word with which to replace mortified. So would outraged — or annoyed, if a milder emotion is wanted.

“Thanks to the teachers who instilled in me such a love of English that I’m perpetually annoyed when reading the internet.”

(Technically, no one reads the internet itself; they read things on the internet.)



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Writing Glitch #130

Glitch #129 was boring, and also about a type of error mentioned many, many times (commas with direct address), so I decided to skip it and go on to this one.

Today’s glitch:


Once more, with feeling…

Everyday and every day do not mean the same thing! Everyday is an adjective; it can only modify nouns or other adjectives. On the other hand, every day is an adverbial phrase (is this why some writers are now seemingly afraid to use it at all?) telling when something occurs.

There needs to be a comma after top, and as (a typo, probably) should be has. The comma after top is needed because you could remove the entire bit between those commas and still have a complete sentence that makes sense: Every day you walk down the same street on your way to work.

The correct possessive for it is its, not it’s.

Every day you walk down the same street, past the church with the statues adorning the top, on your way to work. Today one of the statues seems different: it has a smirk on its face.

You don’t have to use a colon (in this usage, indicating that amplification/explanation follows) after different, but you shouldn’t use an ellipsis. A period would be the simplest option, I suppose, but a semicolon would probably work better because of how closely the two parts are linked. (Rarely will you see a sentence where you could use either a colon or a semicolon. Don’t let this example fool you into thinking the two are truly interchangeable.)


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Writing Glitch #128

Today’s glitch:


So close! All this one needed was one more comma.

“I’m trying my best to be polite, but if you move that knife one centimeter closer to me, I will tear you apart.”


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Writing Glitch #127

Today’s glitch:


I think this one could win the award (not that anyone should want it) for the most pointless, nonsensical, and outright wrong capitalizations in any of these examples.

“Last night, I dreamed of you. I had to sleep with the lights on for the rest of the night.”

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“…all your life and mine…”

After the events of today, and then seeing a blog post with an allusion to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the title, and then mentioning the urban fantasy novel War for the Oaks in a comment on my own blog, there was only one thing to do: go to YouTube and watch the official video for the Men at Work song, “Safety Dance.”

Believe it or not, friends, a maypole dance can be a little bit like a mosh pit. Not that I have direct experience with mosh pits, but the clone has an interesting story about that time he went to a concert and came back dyed red… Ahem. Anyway. If the maypole dancers are young teenagers who somehow can’t remember which is their left foot and which is their right, and they keep getting themselves tangled in the ribbons and then shoving one another… Yeah.

Not that today’s events had anything to do with a maypole dance, but they did have a lot to do with other medieval stuff. (Spell it mid-evil and feel my wrath.) The clone was at a swordfighting demo (he’s a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism), and there was a bit of a… safety issue. One of the other fighters endangered members of the audience. Heads are gonna roll… or at least be hit with a rattan war hammer tomorrow, when they do another demo.

(There are days when I’m tempted to take up SCA combat myself. It would be like the punchline from that joke: “Sir… there were… two of them.”)

Want more Weaver-style bloggish weirdness? Here, have some links:

Urban fantasy: “It was NEVER all about vampires.”

80s music: “I can’t keep up with what’s been going on…”

Fantasy-medieval armor photos.

A rant having to do with the word medieval: “Mid-what?”

Swords and chainmail and stuff: “Facts for fantasy writers: weapons and armor”





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Authors Answer 94 – Lessons of a Jolly Hermit

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

How can a hermit be jolly? Ever heard of a jolly hermit? Find out what our ideas are in today’s Authors Answer. You get to choose which story is the best in a poll at the end of the post.

But first, the winner of last week’s contest, The Practicality Engine, is… me! Congratulations, me!

So, let’s look at today’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 94 – Lessons of a Jolly Hermit

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-help

Setting: 21st Century America

Summary: There has never been a better time to be a hermit that the 21st century. Nowadays you can sit at home and never leave, even to work or buy food! But this isn’t without a downside. Not everyone will be happy without any human contact. With our handy guide you too can learn to turn that socially-awkward frown upside-down and be JOLLY!

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Coming-of-Age/Young Adult


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