Required Reading for Writers

It’s short, it’s funny, it’s smart. And it relates directly to the previous sentence.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

13 comments… add one
  • hollylisle Feb 22, 2006 @ 10:31

    The Angry Flower cartoon was much in the same spirit. 😀 Thanks for the link.

  • Gabriele Feb 22, 2006 @ 9:27

    “Add an apostrophe wherever you want.” ROFLOL

    Especially, if you can confuse your and you’re, their, they’re, and there and it’s and its that way.

  • Jason Penney Feb 22, 2006 @ 8:39

    Reminds me of this “Bob the Angry Flower” cartoon. http://www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif

  • Gabriele Feb 22, 2006 @ 8:22

    Well, I have learned it’s Cornelius’, not Cornelius’s – to me the extra s looks funny. And since I keep seing both spellings, I’d say it depends on the publisher. I’ll continue writing Cornelius’ (and with my many Roman characters in is an issue, lol) until a publisher tells me to change it. If that’s going to happen at all in the UK. *grin*

  • Angelique Feb 22, 2006 @ 7:18

    That was freakin’ hilarious. I’m still laughing 🙂

  • Liz Feb 21, 2006 @ 17:13

    I’m a firm believer in the serial comma, but some house styles oppose it.

    My boyfriend swears that his grade school English teacher taught that a possessive “its” has an apostrophe at the end: its’. Makes me so twitchy.

  • Rogue Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:52

    Agreed. There can be too much. Grammatically not necessarily a mistake but aesthetically it could be.

  • arainsb123 Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:41

    I agree that using the occasional unnecessary comma to set off words from the rest of the sentence can provide emphasis, but what really bothers me is when 80% of a book’s adverbs are set off like that. It’s distracting, to me at least.

  • Rogue Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:31

    I mean post number 2 … not 3 where I agree 100%.

  • Rogue Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:28

    My academic teacher had this saying about commas. “When in doubt, leave them out”. This is something I try to remember although commas tend to slip in where not needed for me. This is due to the rules of comma use in Polish. Somewhat different.

    But still… I think it’s not a terrible mistake to use commas as mentioned by ‘arainsb123’.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂

  • arainsb123 Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:19

    Oh, and the way that people will simply tack an apostrophe onto the end of a singular noun that ends in “s” to show possession is irksome, too. It’s not “Cornelius’ hair was blue,” it’s “Cornelius’s hair was blue.” And don’t even get me started about sentences like “The store sold books, sandboxes, videos and lunchboxes” as opposed to “The store sold books, sandboxes, videos, and lunchboxes.” They’re minor things, but comma overuse is, as I mentioned above, one thng that makes it really difficult for me to get through a book.

    It felt good to get both of those mini-rants off my chest. Great article!

  • arainsb123 Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:16

    What galls me even more than apostrophe abuse is comma misuse. I couldn’t even get through Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere because there were so. Many. Commas. Unless the rules of our language have drastically changed without my hearing about it, you don’t need to set off adverbs with commas.

  • Rogue Feb 21, 2006 @ 16:16

    Do people really do that??? I mean it’s like elementary level class’ knowledge. Pre-int an best. But then again, I don’t often consider the mistakes I make in my native language (Polish).

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