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.”

 

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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 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 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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