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Monday, August 22, 2011

How ironic!

Below are some comments from an online discussion about the need for editing and whether book reviewers should mention grammar and spelling errors. The comments are ironic because they contain errors. Sadly, sometimes ironic approaches moronic.
  • If my book had mis-spellings, I would surely welcome someone telling me. However, before I self-published my book, I paid to have a proofreader go through it so that I would have a professional book and no mis-spelled or mis-placed words. ["Misspellings," "misspelled" and "misplaced" should not be hyphenated.]
  • Another problem with the Wash n' Wear places like Smashwords is the lack of the 'authors' ability. Many writers put their works up and those works are sometimes grammatical nightmares of horrendous proportions. [This comment includes a word commonly misused, especially by politicians trying to be dramatic. "Proportion" refers to a relationship or ratio, such as the ratio of length to width, chest size to waist size or the number of students to teachers. "Proportion" is not a synonym for "size."]
  • I agree, very distracting! There is no reason for misspellings or even poor grammar anymore. It shows characteristics unbecoming in a writer - laziness, sloppiness, unwillingness to learn technique and form like other creative professionals, or pompousness - this last one is where people think they're such perfect writers or so creatively inclined that they don't have to reread or self-edit. Whatever the case, if you don't want me to point them out, then don't leave them in there. [Some authorities consider "anymore" to be a non-word, or non-standard, or a regionalism. I think the proper term in this usage is "any more."]
  • We have still been dinged in reviews by readers, but they have never bothered to let us know where the mistake where. [Probably should be "is."]
  • I don't think books written to help authors editor their work intend to discourage authors from hiring editors [Should be "edit."]
  • . . . we used a copy editor who professed to be well verses in doing that kind of editing. [Should be "versed."]
  • . . . often you can swap manuscripts with a colleague you've met in a writer's group or the like. [Should be "writers'"]
  • . . . new authors need that positive re-enforcement of a review that centers on the positive aspects of their work. [The correct word is "reinforcement."]
Obviously, online comments should not be held to as high a standard as a published book, but they should receive a careful reading before the final mouse click that sends the words to the world.

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