Writing Glitch #36

Today’s glitch:


I’m going to assume this was originally written by someone who speaks (informal) UK English.

The dorm’s fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, and now we’re awkwardly standing outside in out PJs.

It’s a compound sentence; I’ve already mentioned commas in compound sentences a few times.

We’re stood isn’t standard for either UK or US English. Unless your intent is to imitate the speech patterns of someone with less-than-stellar grammar, I recommend against it. (We’re stood actually means that someone or something not yourself is standing you there; you’re the object of the action, not the subject doing it. And it’s still awkward and clunky.)

Apostrophes do not make plurals. Even if it’s a plural of an acronym (in which case you ought to, y’know, capitalize the letters of the acronym itself), do not use an apostrophe before the s (except in the uncommon instance where it would form an actual word without the apostrophe: multiples of A would be A’s, whereas multiples of B would be Bs). Or, in the example sentence, you could just say pajamas and avoid the issue altogether.


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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