Of straw men, lawn gnomes, and reality.

Straw man: (noun) An intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.

(Did you get that? It’ll be on the test later.)

Drawing of a scarecrow (straw man — get it?) with a sign that reads, “People who care about GRAMMAR think it’s THE ONLY THING that matters when writing a novel.”

I keep running into variations on this particular straw man argument: ‘You think perfect grammar is all that matters in a book and that plot and characters are irrelevant!’ Um… No. Grammar enthusiasts do not believe (or say) grammar is the only thing that matters when writing a novel, and claiming that we do is ridiculous. We just want whatever we’re interested in reading to be, y’know, readable. Why is that such a problem for some people?

In reality, this second picture is a much more accurate (metaphorical) depiction of a “grammar ninja” (cleverly disguised as a lawn gnome — we’re sneaky that way) and what such a person believes.

Drawing of a lawn gnome holding a sign that reads, “Grammar isn’t the only thing that matters, but it is kinda IMPORTANT if you want other people to be able to READ what you’ve written.”


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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2 Responses to Of straw men, lawn gnomes, and reality.

  1. M. Oniker says:

    People really do come up with some cockamamie theories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! A few months ago, I was reading a book that really needed another edit. The story was good, but having to stop and re-read so many times ruined my enjoyment.

    Liked by 2 people

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