Writing Glitch #72

Today’s glitch:


“It’s your choice.” She shrugged. “You can continue with your worthless life, or you can become someone who matters.”

Do not capitalize the second half of a compound sentence. Just because you could break it into two sentences if you deleted the comma and the conjunction doesn’t mean it is two sentences. (Maybe that’s not why some writers do that, but I can’t think of any other reason right now, and I would like to think there’s a reason for it, even if it’s wrong.)

The first sentence could also be written this way: “It’s your choice,” she said with a shrug.

(“It’s your choice,” Mercenary Proofreader said with a shrug. “You can stop using impossible verbs when describing how dialogue is spoken, or you can continue looking like a fool.”)


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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