Writing Glitch #59

Today’s glitch:

glitch62

Legend says that, due to old magic, if you plant a tree over the grave of a dead person, the tree will retain the consciousness of the deceased.

You could also use dashes instead of the first two commas (although it doesn’t work as well, since there isn’t really an abrupt change of thought there), but you need a matched set; don’t use one comma and one dash. Legend says that — due to old magic — if you plant a tree over the grave of a dead person, the tree will retain the consciousness of the deceased.

It shouldn’t be necessary to say the grave belongs to a dead person. If you want to tighten the sentence even more, try this: Legend says that, due to old magic, if you plant a tree over a grave, the tree will retain the consciousness of the deceased.

 

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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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One Response to Writing Glitch #59

  1. Honestly, I wasn’t wearing my editing hat while reading this, and I just thought about what the sentence was expressing and the creep factor involved. I’m never sure about the em/en dashes (I have sites bookmarked for them just like lay vs. lie). It’s always good to check for redundancies, especially ones we might not notice because they’re so common.

    Liked by 1 person

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