Writing Glitch #411

Today’s glitch:

Extraterrestrials is one word. Extra terrestrials suggests you have a surplus of Earthlings (free to a good home!), but it says nothing about people from other planets.

Y’know how it’s correct to capitalize the name of your own home planet (assuming you are from Earth)? Well, it’s also correct to capitalize nouns or adjectives formed from that name. Thus, always capitalize Earthling (although it’s s stupid word — Terran or even Earther is much better).

There seems to be a dropped word — or perhaps just a misused word — in the latter part of the example sentence, but I’m not sure what was intended.

Earth is visited by extraterrestrials who claim they’re refugee Earthlings from a past extinction [event?], returning to their home planet.


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 #411

  1. M. Oniker says:

    I nearly did a spit take while quaffing my Friday evening adult beverage when I read a surplus of Earthlings.

    I also thought of you the other day while reading Merriam-Webster’s correction of one of Trump’s tweets. Seems he got council/counsel wrong. I don’t think they smacked him for the incorrect capitalization, but it was good enough. If you ever run out of writing prompt glitches, there are, sadly, an abundance of POTUS tweets for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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