Writing glitch #404

Today’s glitch:

(Remind me to write a bloggish tirade later about why commas are important and necessary, will you?)

Add a comma after head (long introductory phrase). Add another comma after beings (dependent clause).

Delete these before horrifying. (If you leave these in place, it suggests you mean this kind of horrifying beings as opposed to some other horrifying beings.)

Unless you mean to imply most people are all sharing a single mask, change mask to masks.

Don’t hyphenate town hobo.

Use a comma, not a colon, before dialogue that follows a tag. Change the colon after asks to a comma. (Whether it’s in a dialogue tag or not, you shouldn’t use a colon after a verb.)

Add a comma before too. (Yes, this matters. That comma makes the difference between too meaning excessive and too meaning also.)

After hitting your head, you’ve seen most people as horrifying and ugly beings, as if they had suddenly lost their masks.

The crazy town hobo notices you gawking one day and asks, “Wait, you can see them, too?”

(I’m here to chew bubblegum and not-so-silently correct grammar… 🙂 )


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 #404

  1. alexankarr1 says:

    I’m never going to master all the wrinkles and fine distinctions of grammar, and I’ve made my peace with that.

    ‘Add a comma before too. (Yes, this matters. That comma makes the difference between too meaning excessive and too meaning also.)’ This, though. It may be technically accurate, I’m not sufficiently au fait to say. But in terms of a layman’s comprehension and everyday usage, there’s no way under heaven I’d ever take that ‘too’, in this context, to mean ‘excessive’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps not in this exact context, but I have seen sentences where it’s unclear what the writer meant. One makes more sense than the other, but who can say for certain, when the writer doesn’t (refuses to/doesn’t know how to) use the tools available to make the sentence say what it’s intended to mean? (Readers shouldn’t have to GUESS.)

      Liked by 1 person

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