Bonus “Glitch”


I do not think that word means what they think it means. Actually, I know it doesn’t mean what they think it means.

Anthropophagi means eaters of humans, more or less. See how it shares a root with, for example, anthropology, which is the study of humans? Or anthropomorphic, which is human-shaped?

“There are tales of things in the woods. Things that eat men whole. They call them Anthropophagi or Grey Men.”

That fixes the bad translation by making it just an alternate name. (Even if the translation were correct, I’d suggest replacing the dash in the original with a comma or possibly a colon.)


Some of you may wonder why Mercenary Proofreader doesn’t have a conniption over incomplete sentences like the one in this bonus writing glitch. Well, let me tell you…

An incomplete sentence usually doesn’t change the meaning of the words on the page; it seldom hinders communication. A misplaced punctuation mark, on the other hand, can completely change the meaning. For example, a comma makes the difference between as meaning while (simultaneous action) or it meaning because (cause and effect: sequential action). A comma makes the difference between too meaning also or it meaning excessive.

If incomplete sentences just bug you too much to ignore, you can write the beginning of this bonus glitch like so: “There are tales of things in the woods, things that eat men whole.”


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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