Writing Glitch 1041

Today’s glitch:

How it ought to look:

You find a stranger almost dead in an alley. You start to call 9-1-1, but before they pass out, they beg you not to, so you take them home and patch them up as best you can. When the stranger wakes up, you learn that they’re a supernatural creature and that they believe in an eye for an eye. This includes saving lives, so you are now stuck with this person until they save your life, but your life is boring and non-risky.

Sometimes, word order makes a big difference. Consider the difference in actual meaning between (original version) they beg you not to call before they pass out and (edited version) before they pass out, they beg you not to call. (Translated into dialogue to make a point of some kind: 1) “Please don’t call before I pass out,” he begged. 2)  “Please don’t call,” he begged, and then he passed out. See the difference now?)

The Chicago Manual of Style (and The Associated Press Stylebook, too) says not to put quotation marks around common expressions/sayings (such as an eye for an eye).

Y’know, someone who’s almost dead isn’t going to be talking. Maybe that bit ought to be changed to dying, because a person can be dying and yet not that close to death.

(And remember, if/when someone asks you if you’re a supernatural creature, you should deny it and then change the subject. 🙂 )

Thanks, Victoria, for catching my typo. Even a professional Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom can miss stuff every now and then.




About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live 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 eight cats. 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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