Writing Glitch #219

Today’s glitch:


You would not believe how many times I’ve seen as misused or used in a confusing/unclear way. Does it mean while here, or does it mean because? It looks like it means while, but who knows? (Work for a while with writers who are careless about words, and you’ll become paranoid about this sort of thing, too.)

At any rate, the sentence is compound and needs a comma after ended. Also, one to caused is wrong, obviously. Did the writer mean one to have caused? It’s correct but awkward, so I’m going with one who caused instead.

The world has ended, and while you’re trying to survive with your sister, you slowly start to suspect that she may have been the one who caused the apocalypse.

Perhaps it would work better to say you begin to suspect rather than you slowly start to suspect.


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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4 Responses to Writing Glitch #219

  1. Is it my imagination or do many of the glitches you correct involve end-of-the-world scenarios?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do seem to form small thematic clusters.

      Most of the examples I use have their origin as writing prompts, which are popular with writers of young-adult fiction. End-of-the-world scenarios are particularly popular with writers of young-adult SF, so…


  2. Anonymous says:



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