Sometimes, he connips* about bad writing seen in writing prompts.

*Connip: Verb. Back-formed from the noun conniption, meaning a fit of excitement or anger. Derived from conniption fit.

I’ve been thinking about using writing prompts I see on Pinterest as examples (bad examples, I should say) in my “grammar rants” posts. The run-on sentences (which often don’t even have commas), the weird random capitalization, the quotation marks where they don’t belong but not where they do belong…

Here’s the sort of thing I mean:


…and this:


Seriously, what the hell is going on with the punctuation there?

This next one annoys me as much (if not more) because of the sentiment expressed as because of the missing punctuation. I long to live in a world where people don’t insist that anyone good with words must be inept with numbers… (I also long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motivations questioned, which actually seems more likely. *sigh*) It’s a false dichotomy.


The bad grammar (“I don’t need no”) doesn’t bother me, believe it or not; it’s obviously done for humor. I use deliberately bad grammar for humor sometimes. On the other hand, where the hell are the commas, English major? That’s a compound sentence, after all. Try it with me: I am a strong, independent English major, and I don’t need no math.


About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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8 Responses to Sometimes, he connips* about bad writing seen in writing prompts.

  1. You didn’t get the email? Punctuation is optional and the rules have all been canceled. It began when they dissed the semi-colon and began to strangle when adverbs were made “persona” non grata. It’s all over but the ranting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura L. says:

    I just laughed at your topic tags, although I think you filched one. You do know I love your grammar rants, don’t you? Although I get all paranoid about posting a comment because, you know—grammar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do know I don’t nitpick anyone’s grammar in comments and such, don’t you? Also, how often do you see ME do things like drop the subject verb of a sentence?

      The rants are about problems I see in published works, mostly, or on web sites intended to teach people how to write because they’re planning to have their stuff published. (The reason I don’t like Grammarly, for example, is that their web site has a lot of grammatical and other writing errors, and that’s just WRONG, considering how many writers use their grammar-check program. Not that it’s acceptable to say, ‘I don’t like Grammarly.’ I got reprimanded for saying exactly that on Facebook a couple days ago… *shakes head*)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura L. says:

        You are a perfect gentleman about not pointing and snickering at bad writing in your comments area.

        I have Generic Grammar Phobia. It has been an acquired illness, born of many decades of grammar abuse and the death of many a fine neuron. In high school I could fast-draw punctuate, outline sentences, identify verb tenses, and scored off the charts on the SAT. It was downhill in college, where I tested out of all English requirements and none of my majors required writing anything more than a math proof. Then came long years of writing on the Internet. I now write everything like I IM. Scary, huh?

        Then there is always the Murphy’s aspect to snerking about any writing slip up. You seem to miss it pretty well, but when I do it, I get Murphy full frontal. Every single time I have remarked upon a grammatical error of someone else’s, I have either typo’d or just flat out made an equally bad mistake, if not immediately then soon enough afterwards. Karma, she’s a beach.

        It is only very recently that I have started writing anything kind of seriously. My blog doesn’t count. I say that loudly and often. My blog is written in off-the-cuff, stream-of-consciousness messiness. If one finds anything other than that on it, good for them, and pass the joint. For the times when I sneak into trying to write a little fiction, though, I am just appalled by how much grammar I have forgotten.

        I do love your grammar rants.

        I still comma splice. Working on it.

        I am now thoroughly confused by your FB reprimand. “I don’t like Grammarly.” Bwah? Is this akin to “I don’t like God.”? Or, “I don’t like **American Idol**.”? Or were they saying that sentence is ungrammatical and heretical? It is FB ffs…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Laura L. says:

          I thought ** in comments gave one italics. Live and learn and we can’t edit our own comments. :::shakes fist at WP:::

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know how to do italics in comments, either, although Jay Dee Archer explained it to me not long ago.

            It is POSSIBLE the reprimand was for a single sentence of over-the-top ungrammatical writing used deliberately to illustrate a point. (I was mocking the “write wat u want grammer dont matter” crowd. Big surprise, eh?) Facebook… Many moons ago, it was Yahoo instead. Lots of discussions on Yahoo groups about writing; lots of people getting angry at the silliest things and completely missing the point of the discussion. (If I can’t understand what someone else means, it’s my fault. If they can’t understand what I mean, it’s my fault. *sigh*)

            MY blog isn’t serious writing, either. I mostly have one as a way of interacting with humans. (I’m actually a rather gregarious hermit, and I like having conversations with interesting people without being required to make eye contact.) The person who told me a couple years ago that writing INTERFERES with self-expression is a fool.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Laura L. says:

            You? (she says, using her best sarcasm font) You chose hyperbole to point fun at folks? You were bashed on (select social media of choice) for it by people who think irony is a household chore dealing with fabric? Say it ain’t so!

            It IS your fault.


            I totally understand being a gregarious hermit and I concur with the whole “not in my back yard making eye contact” thing.

            Idealistic Misanthrope ™


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