Writing Glitch #111

Back by popular demand… or at least because there are people in the world who think they know all about grammar, punctuation, and how to craft a clear sentence but don’t actually know any of these things. (In other words, blame it on the idjit who red-inked a short sample of my writing today and made such a horrid mess of it that I’m not sure if I should laugh or just throw something metaphorical. There were basic verb errors in the “corrections”!)

And yes, I know I skipped glitch #110. It was boring, so I decided to go on to this one instead.


Today’s glitch:


Do not use both a comma and a dash. In this example, the comma is wrong anyway, and the dash doesn’t quite work, either. Also, where’s the end punctuation?

“If it takes you more than an hour to get ready, you may not be as cute as you think you are. Just sayin’.”

Why use may instead of might? So glad you asked… Might is the past tense of may. You say may be (present tense), but might have been (past tense).


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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