Writing Glitch #4

Today’s glitch:


Just give it a try…



“You don’t want to go that way, sir. Travelers have been known to disappear off that road.”

Sir is a direct address, and these are set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma — or commas, if they fall in the middle somewhere.

A semicolon after sir instead of starting a new sentence would also be correct, if you choose to write it that way, but apparently Teh Internetz says semicolons are bad now.


Here’s a non-glitch-related thought: Maybe I’ve been unfairly snarking about Stephen King’s apparent hate of all things adverbial because most people on Teh Internetz have been misinterpreting his famous, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Obviously this is patterned after the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” No one believes that good intentions are terrible and must be avoided at all costs, do they? And yet King’s quote is invariably taken to mean Adverbs Be EVIL, and Real Writers ™ NEVER use them (except words like never and not are also adverbs, but whatever — they’re Real Writers with, like, MFAs in being creative and stuff). So maybe King merely meant that advice as a warning rather than an absolute Thou Shalt Not: adverbs aren’t bad in and of themselves, but if you depend on them too heavily, you’re on a slippery slope. Now I feel better for having had this small epiphany… Doesn’t do a damn thing about Teh Stoopids on Teh Internetz, but I have another good argument to use against them, at least.



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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3 Responses to Writing Glitch #4

  1. Sheron says:

    Got it. This is fun. Do you capitalize Sir in a direct address?
    Hear, hear on the adverbs. Use occasionally but sparingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Sir’ is not capitalized unless it’s in front of someone’s name as a title (Sir Alec Guinness) because it’s neither a name nor used as one. (This is why we don’t capitalize ‘son’ when someone is addressed that way, but we do capitalize ‘Mom’ as a direct address: “This is my mom; I call her Mom.”)


  2. Quoting out of context is something you see often on teh internetz.

    Liked by 1 person

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