Writing Glitch #401

Today’s glitch:

There’s no reason for those single quotation marks to be around the word weakest; get rid of them.

Add a comma after bloodline.

I know what the latter part of the sentence is trying to say, but what it actually says is something else. What it says is that your powers are more subdued than your family, and what it wants to say is that your powers are more subdued than your family’s powers. See the difference? Adding those of is the least invasive way to correct the sentence.

You’re the weakest member of your bloodline, and as a result, your powers are more subdued than those of the rest of your family.

I think subdued isn’t the right word here (I don’t trust this writer to know what it means and to use it correctly), but I don’t have a suitable replacement at the moment. Subtle, perhaps? That’s if the powers are merely less obvious rather than actually weaker.


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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