Writing Glitch #249

Today’s first glitch:


This is a run-on with a comma splice. The comma after detector should be replaced with a period.

You found an unusual coin in a field with your metal detector. Ever since you brought it home, strange things have been happening.


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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5 Responses to Writing Glitch #249

  1. M. Oniker says:

    Yay! Comma splices, my personal fave to abuse. Sorry. What bothered me in this example was the pronoun “it” after “metal detector.” I’m assuming the problem is about the coin being brought home, but as written it is about the detector.

    And in the paragraph above, should the period be inside the quotation marks (as it is) or outside?Does it matter which side of The Pond you’re on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes I have no idea what they’re doing “across the Pond” with punctuation. As far as I can tell, current UK written English means doing whatever the hell you want with those “extra” marks that aren’t words. (There was a time when I could tell you with certainty that the period goes inside the quotation marks for UK English, too, but as I said… Did you know they actually stopped teaching grammar, punctuation, and such for several years, saying there was no point because the kids weren’t learning that stuff anyway?)

      The sentence isn’t about the detector, but the pronoun could be clearer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • M. Oniker says:

        Interesting logic about not teaching grammar because the kids weren’t learning it. I guess that’s one way to change your teaching strategies to be more effective. It is a wonder they decided to teach any of the subjects then.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s not all that much different from what happened here in the US for a while with that “Most Children Held Back” thing. (Yeah, I know the official name was No child Left Behind, but unless you’re prepared to pay for better and more teachers and MUCH smaller class sizes, plus people who are TRAINED in how to work with children who have special needs, the only way you can make sure no one is left behind is to hold everyone else back to the speed of the slowest.) To make sure the average test scores were high enough, they just kept lowering the amount they wanted the students to learn.

          To quote a former president of the United States, “The education level of our children are appalling.”

          Liked by 1 person

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