They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Writing Is Easy, Editing Is Hard

Grammarians Unleashed

Was sent this link today from Language Log about More timewasting garbage, another copy-editing moron. The piece is from 2004, and involves a non-fiction book about the programming language Python. But one of the problems about editing and grammar is that there are a lot of people who have very strong preferences -- which are not necessarily correct grammatically. And it does drive writers (and readers) nuts from time to time.

Okay, so my English grammar is not 100% perfect, but it's not bad. Sure, I have a few odd preferences and some weird affectations -- a preference for en-dashes instead of colons and semi-colons, for example -- but it's a style and I'm mostly consistent and I think it's readable. Likewise, I do overuse some words, and keep a list of things like "that", "have to", etc., and go through and try to reduce their number in my stories.

My only real objection to the piece linked above is that while talking about the suggested changes by a copy editor for the programming book, all the examples mentioned seem to come from fiction. Still, sometimes you need to read when someone gets inflamed about these things, or chooses to go a more humorous vein as in Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves. And stop with all the Thou Shalt Not lists. (grin)

I Shall Have To Go Back...

... and read some more entries from Language Log. This recent example tickled me because of the serious academic discussion about how to use the word f*ck. (grin)

Whew. I feel better now. Do you?

Dr. Phil
Tags: writing

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