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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Some wrong words from a guide who needs guidance



I'm an imperfect perfectionist but I think that people who want to be regarded as authorities on writing should write properly.

Below, from Kristen Lamb, who "has guided writers of all levels"

  • "this doesn’t jive with reality" [Kristen needs someone to guide her about the use of "jibe."]
  • "the brain of a monkey who’s head was crushed in Wal Mart’s automatic doors" [Kristen also needs guidance about "who's" v. "whose."]
  • "Generations bought Wonderbread" [Actually, "Wonder" and "Bread" are two separate words.] 
  • "sold less than a thousand copies" [FEWER, dammit. http://www.bookmakingblog.com/2011/03/i-shouldnlt-have-to-teach-new-york.html] 
  • "A large percentage of writers have" [HAS, dammit. The verb has to agree with "percentage," not "writers.]
  • Also, I don't think someone named "Kristen" should be writing "OY VEY." 
Despite her linguistic limitations, Kristen is perceptive and knowledgeable and provides good advice. Read what she says and try not to wince at the way she sometimes says it. Sometimes content is more important than form.

However, authors should keep in mind that every word they write is an audition. Don't be sloppy in public.



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Wonder Bread photo from Mark James Miller. Thanks.

2 comments:

  1. Good post!

    I find errors distracting, and I seldom read anything written by an author whose blog posts are riddled with mistakes.

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  2. I'm not referring specifically to Kristen. It's a shame that people write one sloppy book and then portray themselves as experts on the book's subject, and on publishing, and can't write one coherent, correct sentence.

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