Writing Glitch #228

Today’s glitch:


Time is one of the few exceptions to the rule about using words rather than numerals for numbers in fiction. Time of day in whole, half, and quarter hours (one, one fifteen, one thirty, one forty-five) should be spelled out, and when o’clock is added, always spell out the number, even if it’s something odd such as five twenty-two o’clock, but use the numerals with a.m. or p.m. otherwise: 5:22 p.m.

Twenty-three should be spelled out, of course.

The second sentence needs a comma because it’s compound. (It could be broken into two shorter but still complete sentences by removing the conjunction: Nothing strange happens. When you return, you find...)

I replaced the incorrect comma in the last sentence with a semicolon because that is the smallest change that makes the sentence correct.

You decide to take your dog out for a walk around the block at about 8 p.m. Nothing strange happens, but when you return, you find an older man in your house looking at a picture of you. It’s your younger brother; you’ve been gone twenty-three years.



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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3 Responses to Writing Glitch #228

  1. M. Oniker says:

    :::wonders if you are testing us to see if we were reading, or if you have an error in your correction:::

    hint: time

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate your clarification of how to write the time of day. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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