Writing Glitch 1060

Today’s glitch:

Italicize titles of periodicals. (Titles of articles in periodicals should be written inside double quotation marks.)

You can delete the year, because it’s clear from the context that the numeral refers to a year.

“According to National Geographic, redheads might become extinct by 2060.”

Got that? Okay, so now the grammar/punctuation aspects of this example are correct. On to the science… 

Anyone who believes “redheads might become extinct” has no frakkin’ clue how inheritance of recessive genetic traits works. Redheads will not “become extinct” unless, for some bizarre reason, every person who carries genes for red hair stops reproducing and passing those genes on to their offspring. (Even then, red hair would pop up occasionally as a new mutation.) As it is, you could have several generations of people carrying the “redhead” gene and passing it on without it ever expressing, because red hair is recessive, which means it must come from both parents for it to express in their offspring.

(“That’s an oversimplification! Genetic inheritance is way more complicated than that!” Yes, it certainly is, but for today’s purposes, I don’t care. None of that “more complicated” in any way supports the idea that red-haired humans could “become extinct” at all, much less within forty years from now.)



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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