Writing Glitch #335

Today’s glitch:


Once again, we’ve got someone using a possessive instead of a plural. *sigh* The most elite community’s what, then?

Underground and under ground do not mean the same thing. The first is an adjective, and the second is an adverbial phrase: Underground cities are located under ground.

Notice that a comma has been added after in the sky. This is not because there’s a list of three items (locations) before it, but rather because each of those three items is an introductory phrase, and you’d need a comma after even one of ’em. (Even if the sentence began with just Under ground, these cities have been…, you’d still need a comma after the introductory phrase.) The commas separating them are because they’re a list, though.

Another comma has been added before until now.

Also notice that I changed the fake “ellipsis” at the end of the example to a period. If you want a sentence to trail off (although it wouldn’t make sense for that one to do so), use a real ellipsis with three dots.

Some of the most elite communities of the world have, over time, constructed massive, secret cities for their personal use and recreation. Under ground, under water, or in the sky, these cities have been hidden from mankind for centuries, until now.



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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