Writing Glitch #94

Today’s glitch:


First, let’s tackle the incorrect punctuation (as opposed to the stuff that’s merely awkward): the apostrophes — or rather, the lack of apostrophes. (Also, powers where makes no sense, so I’m changing that, too.)

You find out you have powers (called shifting) to manipulate other people’s (and animals’) emotions and desires. What do you plan on doing now?

This example contains too many parentheses. That stuff can be set apart with commas instead, with or without some changes to the words themselves: You find out you have powers, called shifting, to manipulate the emotions and desires of both people and animals. What do you plan to do now?

Back in my day, we considered the ability to manipulate (through non-standard means) the emotions of others to be just a subset of empathy (the psionic version, of course, not the kind all humans are expected to have), and we didn’t need to give it a new weird name and make it sound like something out of a superhero comic. *sigh* On the other hand, we weren’t writing superhero-type stories.


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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