Writing Glitch #231

Today’s glitch:

glitch252

I changed like to as if because apparently there are people who will throw a hissy-cow if they see like used that way. Like isn’t wrong, though, so don’t feel you have to do the same.

I changed was to were because something large and metallic screaming isn’t an actual possibility. (You wouldn’t say I wish I was an alligator, because it is highly unlikely — impossible, even — that you could ever be an alligator. The correct form is I wish I were an alligator.)

I combined the next-to-last and last sentences because 1) there’s no reason to separate them where they are in the original version, and 2) the words flow better when these sentences are combined. A viable alternative is to have two sentences that are divided this way: It was loud, so loud. The people of Earth were scared.

(If you’re unspeakably paranoid about anything that could be mistaken — yes, mistaken — for passive voice, change that last word to afraid.)

Under any circumstances, the names of planets should be capitalized. The end of this example is talking about a planet, not dirt.

The sound was heard in cities all over the world, and it seemed to erupt from nowhere, as if something large and metallic were screaming. It was loud, so loud, and the people of Earth were scared.

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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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