Writing Glitch #27

Today’s (actually yesterday’s) glitch:


Why, O Internet?? Why do some people randomly capitalize words? *shakes head*

A teenager thinks his dad works in delivery service. He does, but with a difference. He moves bodies — and not dead ones. Sometimes they’re alive; sometimes they’re in between. The kid finds out by accident, and it’s all down hill from there.

I thought keeping the dash after moves bodies was a good idea, since it brings extra attention to the twist that the bodies aren’t dead ones. A comma would also be correct there, if that is preferred, as would a period instead of the semicolon in the next sentence.

Downhill and down hill don’t mean the same thing, by the way, any more than everyday and every day do.



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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6 Responses to Writing Glitch #27

  1. Sheron says:

    Is there a comma after does when the following words are not a sentence? But has no comma when it introduces a phrase, only when it introduces an independent clause.
    Or so I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I don’t have a precise explanation right now (still “early” in the day for me, and my brain isn’t working yet), but compound sentences aren’t the ONLY time to use a comma after a word such as ‘and’ or ‘but.’

      I’ll get back to you on this later today and try to explain better.


  2. Sheron says:

    Perhaps there is a comma when it reflects a contrast of thought?


  3. M Oniker says:

    Random capitalization is wonderful if you are A. A. Milne though.

    You also now have me having anxiety attacks about commas. I know that I’m a chronic abuser of them. Should the comment above have a comma after Milne?


    Should Milne in the sentence I just wrote have quotes?

    This could be never-ending.

    I just researched whether there should be a hyphen in never-ending and the results were mixed.

    *goes to take a Xanax*

    I stand by the Milne statement. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there should be a comma after “Milne” in that first sentence. (I’m telling you because you asked, not because I proofread comments.)

      If it helps you feel better about your own comma usage, I’m currently reading a very good fantasy novel by an author who often neglects to use a comma to separate “though” from the rest of a sentence where it should be. And one of my favorite authors EVER often didn’t use commas in compound sentences. (I blame Hemingway for being such a bad influence. *suddenly wonders if giant Siamese cats of Chaos have extra toes*)

      Liked by 1 person

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