A quartet of “writing glitches” to entertain and inform

I haven’t had any “Writing Glitch” posts lately, so today I decided to do something about that.

Let’s get the really ugly one out of the way first:

I’ll ignore the ampersand, because this glitch was a Tweet, and it makes sense when Tweeting to save characters by using a symbol instead of spelling out and. However, there are some errors that cannot be justified as Twitter-esque brevity. Redhead, for example, is one word when used to refer to a person with red hair. The semicolon after eyes is wrong; replace it with a comma. Hyphenate blue-eyed. Replace the colon in the last line with a comma.

This needs to be said, although it’s not about grammar and whatnot: There is so much stupid in that false analogy… If I were a blue-eyed redhead, I would not think that every organization I belong to or support ought to have exclusively red-hairred, blue-eyed staff… but if an organization claimed to be for supporting/helping red-hairred, blue-eyed people in some way, I’d demand that they have some such people on their board of directors. My extensive reading on relevant topics has shown me this is how the vast majority of ‘redheads w/blue eyes’ feel: No one has the right to speak for us unless at least some of us are included in the conversation!

(BTW, naming a kind of semicolon misuse after this person would make more sense than naming a kind of comma misuse after him, because the comma thing is based on someone else’s misunderstanding of how spoken dramatic pauses should be written. Also, my sister-in-law says it’s possible that this individual dislikes autistic people because he suspects — rightly so — that many of us are more inclined to both identify with and admire the character played by one of his former co-stars, rather than the character he played. Personally, I always liked the grumpy-yet-empathetic guy best, but the one who masked his emotions all the time was more relatable/likable than the one who was always being overly dramatic and trying to make himself the center of attention.)

This next one has a single mistake. See if you can spot it.

Everyday is an adjective for something ordinary or commonplace; it’s never something you do, because an adjective cannot modify a verb. Change everyday to every day.

Do one thing every day that makes you happy.

Some sources of “glitches” are just… too easy, y’know?

Plural/compound subject = plural verb. Change is to are.

Also, neither Kansas City nor Chicago are states. (D’uh.) And states should not be capitalized. Delete the before U.S. (It’s correct/standard to write the history of the U.S., but not the U.S. history.) The comma after violence should be either a semicolon (although I don’t recommend anyone trying to teach that idjit how to use a semicolon correctly) or a period. (I won’t pretend to understand why belong to is there instead of something else.) Your should be you’re, and there should be a comma after there.

One more glitch, ’cause irony makes me laugh…

Yes, it’s true that a lot (not alot!) of people say/write try and, but it’s incorrect; it should be try to. (If you say try and, you’re implying that the trying and the doing are two separate actions, rather than one action being attempted.)

An ellipsis does not have five dots! That probably shouldn’t be a pause there anyway, but if you’re gonna write one, use a real punctuation mark meant for indicating a dramatic pause.

“As I watch this generation try to rewrite history, there’s one thing I’m sure of: it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.”

(And the person who wrote this is qualified to criticize others’ punctuation? Not damn likely.)





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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1 Response to A quartet of “writing glitches” to entertain and inform

  1. I missed the “Glitches”.

    Liked by 1 person

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