Writing Glitch #333

Today’s glitch:


I’m sure they’d be delighted to find out they’re considered a wildlife refuge, too. 😛

(This is another “glitch” example I found while reading nonsense as part of research for a fiction project. If the author really has a Ph.D. — y’know, someone who’s supposed to be far better educated and thus have more of a clue about grammar and whatnot than most — I weep for his species… except when I’m laughing at ’em.)

Without a second comma, the fragment is “renaming” (this is an appositive, if you want the jargon) the air station as both an air force base and a wildlife refuge. Add the comma, though, and the whole thing becomes a list of three different places. It’s like when an author dedicates a novel to ‘My parents, God and Beyonce.’ Um… Nope. I’m pretty sure Beyonce isn’t your mom. Don’t make false claims about who your parents are; use the Oxford comma.

“[…] the Yuma US Marine Corp Air Station, the US Air Force Gila Auxiliary Air Force Base, and a wildlife refuge.”

(Yes, I know the place names aren’t correct. No, I don’t feel like fixing that part.)


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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2 Responses to Writing Glitch #333

  1. Yep! Caught that one too.

    Liked by 1 person

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