22 February 2013

Top Five Friday: The Grammar Drama Queen Pouts Again!

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. 
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer


S
o is a basic knowledge of grammar and spelling.

Since my creative land is experiencing a drought, I’ve been devouring books like a tween hyped on a hot vampire.  And there is nothing that pulls out of a finally crafted fictional world quite like the misuse of words.

Yells with a sad / angry face: “Writers ~ WTH?!?”

Maybe if it happens once or twice in a book, we can blame the editor or lack thereof.  But when the same mistakes happen in a story over and over, I’m blaming the writer’s education or lack thereof.

Five ~ very sad and very common ~ cases in point:

I was sat on the couch next to Liam.
When you’re writing a draft, maybe you decide that active voice is better than passive (usually very true).  And then you forget to delete “was” when you change “sitting” into “sat.”  But when you make this mistake over and over in the same story?  Beep.  Grammar fail! 

And I have to say, I saw one author do this numerous times in both of the books that I read.  So it’s not just her editor’s fault (if she has one), but her elementary school teacher as well!

I’m going to give him a peace/piece of my mind.
I tried to keep the piece/peace, but they were hell-bent on killing each other.
Think this mistake isn’t common?  Think again.  I read.  A lot.  Like, possible-need-support-group-or-book-club a lot. And I saw this time and again.  I would have thrown the book at the wall, but I was reading on the Kindle app for my Android phone.

Basic grammar lesson:
Homophones = words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. 
I think I learned this in first grade.

I’m going to/too/two the store.
Again with the homophones!  What the….!?  If you do not know the difference between to and two, you could get into serious trouble.  Or your main character could.

Think about it.

I was a little creeped out to have a staring role in his dreams.
I’m dieing to have another scoop of ice cream.
I would be creeped out too.  Are you staring at him in this dream role?  This could be just a spelling issue, but it’s also grammar thing.  Again, a basic grammar lesson: 
When a verb ends with a consonant-vowel-consonant, and we put STRESS on this sound in speech, we double the last consonant. Then we add ing.
So the first sentence should be starring. Now, if her eyes were truly fixed on him for a long period of time, then she would indeed be staring at him.  But with the way the word was used in the sentence, the issue is a case of word abuse.
For the second sentence, the rule is: 
When a verb ends with the letters ie, we change them into y, and add ing.
 
In which case, the word in the second sentence should be dying.

I blushed; I wasn’t comfortable with complements/compliments.
Wait.  Are you uncomfortable with having something added to you or because he thinks you’re beautiful?  Regardless, the butchering of the English language is making me uncomfortable!

So please writers and editors, know your/you’re grammar and spelling!  And readers: if you see something out of whack, say something!  Sometimes, we writers don’t sea our mistakes before we hit publish.

Wink.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Okay, grammar nerds: what are some of your grammar pet peeves?  Want to see a fun graphic on grammar mistakes?  Go to Copyblogger!

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