Grammar-ing “without MFA,” and other things.

Sometime in May, I think (the days do blur together more now, don’t they?), someone told me, via email, that what I’ve done on this blog with my “Writing Glitch” posts is the same as a non-doctor giving medical advice, and they were going to report my “lies” to WordPress itself, or something like that. This individual even threatened to sue me for giving writing advice “without MFA English Grammar from a top credited university.”

So I did what any sensible person would do in my place: I told my twin about it, so we could both have a laugh.

As far as I or my twin (or my twin’s former co-worker Ricardo, who’d once worked as a copyeditor for a major publisher, back when such companies actually had in-house copyeditors) can tell, I know more about how to use correct/standard grammar and punctuation than most people with English degrees do. Also, a degree in English, even a degree in creative writing, doesn’t mean that individual knows anything about the mechanics of writing.

(Then there’s that novelist who also writes psychology nonfiction… Ohmigod, the bad punctuation! Stupidly bad, at that, and not just the usual misplaced commas and such. I tried to read one of his novels, but I didn’t make it to the end of the first page. The other day, I wrote a bloggish tirade — someday I may even share it — directed at this person, in the form of Alex Walotsky advising a colleague on why it’s a Very Bad Idea to publish crap when people are isolated and in desperate need of something readable.)

July was a difficult month this year. Some of it, I’m not ready to discuss yet.

However, the bits I can tell you about now…

Just yesterday (yeah, technically that makes it an August thing, but it’s the aftermath of something from July), my clone-sibling was threatened with losing his job because he’d told a co-worker that he’d missed the entire month of July due to being sick with covid-19. (There is no way I wasn’t exposed to the virus, too, but I had no symptoms. Neither did Grace.) The person in charge of HR (I want to make a joke about human resources not really applying when my twin is involved) insisted that because she didn’t believe he’d been sick with covid-19 — she says she doesn’t believe the virus is even real, although she’s clearly terrified of getting it and pretends it’s a hoax to make herself feel “safe” — he wasn’t sick and is “lying” when he says he had it… and not only is he not to tell anyone he had it, but he is supposed to explicitly say he didn’t have it. This all came about because other people who work there weren’t informed when their co-worker came down ill with covid-19, and they wanted to know why they weren’t informed so they could get tested, too, and find out if they’d caught it. So now, if anyone at work asks Paul about whether he had covid-19, he’ll reply, “I’ve been told not to talk about it.” That’s sure to backfire on the people who want him to pretend it never happened.

A disturbing thing occurred to me as I was typing a comment on Charles Yallowitz’s blog post this afternoon: My twin and I are mindlinked — not in an over-the-top, comic-book-character sort of way, but we do often “hear” each other’s thoughts/emotions. In the stories we write together (although I insist that my name not go on the book covers), there are a couple of characters, Hrothgar and Hunter, who are mindlined twins. The thing that occurred to me a little while ago? Joseph and Jon are twins, too, in pretty much the same way Hrothgar and Hunter are. (I’ve imagined bits of conversation between Jon and Hunter on this topic; they agree that Hunter fared much better than Jon did… and when/if I actually write that scene, there needs to be a “Don’t laugh, cat,” comment from Jon. Dramatic irony amuses me.) Does this mean it’s likely that they will also end up mindlinked eventually? (Hasn’t Jon had enough bad stuff happen to him in his life already???)









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 Grammar-ing “without MFA,” and other things.

  1. I can imagine what you go through, with your knowledge about how to use correct/standard grammar and punctuation, when you read. I learn from you all the time, and appreciate your insights. I was selected as my high school’s outstanding English student, and I’m a child compared to you.

    What your clone went through with HR infuriates me, first, that they would treat someone like that, second that she says she doesn’t believe the virus is even real, dismissing the real science and data behind it. Makes me wanna hire someone to do some dirty deeds.

    Hope you, Paul, and Grace, and the animal kingdom are safe, and Paul makes a full recovery. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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