Writing Glitch #247

Today’s glitch:


First, the em-dash has to go. You could write the sentence as, “In my world, I was a nerd, but here I was king” and it would mean the same thing. That shows there’s a clear connection between the two parts, not an abrupt change of direction.

I opted not to add an extra word, though, and break the example into two sentences instead.

“In my world, I was a nerd. Here I was king.”

Is this character no longer king wherever here is? If he’s still king, that sentence should be changed to Here I am king. (Being a nerd and being a king are not mutually exclusive, by the way. *mutters something about computers and chaos*)



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 #247

  1. Happy is the man who is only a nerd in one world; I think I am a nerd in any world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M.L.S.Weech says:

    I’m still lost in that sentence. I’m stuck on the fact that “In my world, I was a nerd.” I infer from this sentence that wherever the speaker is, it isn’t his world. So. Was he the king on his world, the one on which he was a nerd? Or, was he “only” a nerd on his world and is no king on which he’s currently visiting?

    In one case, I think it should be:

    “In my world, I was a nerd. There, I was king.”


    “In my world, I was a nerd. Here, I am king.”

    Now, an editor can only work with the words and punctuation he was given, but that’s all I can focus on given the sentence.

    As I look at it, I suppose, he could have once been a nerd on his world. He may, in fact, still be there, but is now a king instead of a nerd..oohhhh I’ve gone crosseyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “oohhhh I’ve gone crosseyed”

      Now you begin to understand why so many editors are crazy…

      Hopefully, any actual manuscript in which such a sentence appeared would have enough context for the editor to figure out what the author intended.

      Liked by 1 person

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