Writing Glitch #241

Today’s glitch:

glitch263

Humanity is on the verge of extrasolar colonization when an alien race reveals to us that we are carriers of an incurable virus that could wipe out life in the universe if it ever spread beyond our stellar system.

Technically, friends, only the system centered around Sol is a solar system; the correct generic term is stellar system.

Speaking of generic terms, alien is a generic adjective, not one derived from a proper noun, so don’t capitalize it.

(And speaking of alien, I always hated how the people on the Babylon 5 space station were described as “humans and aliens” rather than just as people.)

Mercenary Proofreader is not impressed by the bio-science ignorance of these aliens. Obviously humans aren’t dying of the virus, so there must be something about humans that makes ’em resistant, immune, whatever. Couldn’t someone, y’know, study the disease-resistant species and figure out why they’re not dying, and then apply that knowledge to giving immunity to everyone else, too?

 

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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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3 Responses to Writing Glitch #241

  1. Is there a way of adding a period somewhere to make two sentences out of the one?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, although I don’t see why that would be necessary or even desirable. The simplest (least change to the original) way to get two sentences out of one here is to delete “when” and add a period after “colonization,” like this: Humanity is on the verge of extrasolar colonization. An alien race reveals to us that we are carriers of an incurable virus that could wipe out life in the universe if it ever spread beyond our stellar system.

      That way makes the relationship between the events less clear, though, so I like this version better: Humanity is on the verge of extrasolar colonization when an alien race reveals to us that we are carriers of an incurable virus. The virus could wipe out life in the universe if it ever spread beyond our stellar system.

      Like

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