Writing Glitch #409

Today’s glitch:

Backyard, as one word, is an adjective; it needs a noun to describe, and it doesn’t work on its own. (Example: The backyard pool is in the back yard.) Change it here to back yard.

Get rid of the ellipsis at the end and just use a period.

You are digging in your back yard to make a small garden when you uncover a hatch lid. You open it and shine your flashlight down.



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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4 Responses to Writing Glitch #409

  1. M. Oniker says:

    I have to stop reading these when I’m so tired and my reading glasses are smudged. I thought it was “hatched” lid. That was very confusing. Some sort of gardening was going on, so perhaps there was some kind of animal husbandry? Lids were hatching. Maybe a type of poultry? I’ve never heard of lid eggs. Then the lightbulb. Oh. Never mind. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. According to the Associated Press Style Book, “backyard” should be used all the time. I can’t agree with that. Then again, there are many entries the AP and I don’t agree on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The name says it all: Associated Press Stylebook. It’s not for fiction; it’s for journalism. It’s meant to simplify the language to the point that someone with a fourth-grade reading level can have access to the news. That’s fine for news, but I don’t want to write in simplified language aimed at ten-year-olds (or adults who don’t like reading).

      AP also says to use numerals instead of spelling out numbers because people don’t have time to read eleven instead of 11, or something like that. *rolls eyes* People who don’t have time to read words don’t have time to read novels — or write novels — so they’re not my target audience anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree with you. Not understanding the different between “back yard” and “backyard” is lazy reading. It is unfortunate that your target audience may be a dwindling group. I hope not, but my recent experience doesn’t give me much hope. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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