Writing Glitch #399

Today’s glitch:

The comma after safe doesn’t belong; delete it.

The entire place was calculated to make you feel safe and secure. It was, of course, all a terrible lie.

That’s the punctuation. Now let’s tackle the more subtle issue of word choice.

The first sentence doesn’t quite work. I know what it means, but that’s not what it says. Y’see, when choosing a verb, you should consider not only the meaning of the verb but also the meanings of the words around it. The verb calculated doesn’t work with place because places can’t be calculated.

Try one of these instead:

Every detail of the place was calculated to make you feel safe and secure.


The entire place was designed to make you feel safe and secure.


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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