Writing Glitch #29

Today’s glitch:


First, the capitalization…

I sort of understand why king is capitalized. It shouldn’t be, but it’s not nonsensical to write it that way. Why capitalize blacksmith, though?

Being the king’s personal blacksmith is hard work. It would be easier if you knew your son was not in chains.

Note the apostrophe in king’s! I find it highly unlikely that there are multiple kings who share one blacksmith, and if there were, you’d still need an apostrophe, just after the s instead of before.

I’m not sure what was intended with the second sentence. Is it that the blacksmith’s son is in chains, and his job would be easier to deal with if this were not so? Is it that he doesn’t know whether his son is in chains or not? Would his job be easier if his son was in chains but he didn’t know about it? At any rate, each of these possibilities would be best expressed by slightly different word choices, etc., and I suspect the words that are there are not expressing the writer’s intended meaning.


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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