Writing Glitch #363

Today’s glitch:


Although second-person pronouns are often used this way in informal writing/speech, sometimes there’s too much room for misinterpretation. Humans have discovered that you… This wording sort of implies that you and humans belong in separate categories. Maybe the writer meant that, and maybe not, but I think the latter is more probable.

Change the pronouns, though, and now it doesn’t matter whether humans includes you or not, because the paragraph isn’t about you anymore.

Also, no matter what their age, humans and other people who write in English should spell out numbers in (non-journalistic) prose instead of using numerals: one hundred thirty, not 130.

Humans have discovered that once they pass the age of one hundred thirty, they start to regenerate and appear younger. They just have to make it to that age first.

(Even if you look younger at one hundred forty than you did at one hundred thirty, you’re not younger. Time doesn’t run backward; your body just repairs some cellular/genetic damage.)


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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