Writing Glitch #216

Today’s glitch:


Compound sentences need commas.

Deleting the word of is the least disruptive way to correct the grammar here.

Sometimes you shouldn’t capitalize the first word after a colon, but there are times when it’s right to do so. One of those times is when the colon introduces more than one sentence, and another is when the colon introduces a direct question. Both of these apply in the example.

“It was nice to talk of normal things, but at the end of all the stories were the same questions: Would it still be there? Or would the event still happen?”

(The author of this example also offers writing advice to writers of “fictional novels.” *sigh* This is why we can’t have nice things…)


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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