Writing Glitch #206

Today’s first glitch:


Dried-up needs a hyphen because it functions as a single adjective.

They trampled through the dried-up old trees, using only a torch and the waning moonlight to navigate the darkness.

The only error in this example was a missing hyphen, and the sentence contains “big words” (“big” because they’re not used in everyday conversation by people who don’t read much, not because they’re actually polysyllabic). Is this sort of thing even allowed? *sarcastic-editor grin*

I would consider replacing through with among or between, just for a bit more clarity.


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 #206

  1. Jiuhl says:

    For the sake of logic, I would replace ‘waning’ with ‘wan’ or ‘pale.’ Unless the moon is setting or clouds are moving in, I don’t see how the moonlight will be waning. Even so, moonlight is seldom so bright that we’d notice it waning over a long period of time. 🙂


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