A long time ago, much further* back in my personal history than I care to dwell upon, one of my college English professors told me I could be a great writer if I only took the time to properly use the tools of our trade. She flung my essay on the desk before me. Content = A. Grammar = D. Final grade = C. Dejected, I left her office, vowing it would never happen again.
Many wonderful stories are marred by misspellings, grammar mistakes and improper word usage. When I was editing magazines, if contributors handed in a manuscripts polluted with typos and grammatical errors, the entire staff thought they were idiots, even if they had doctorates in chemistry.
Everyone makes mistakes, however writers need to know the rules. Computer spell check and grammar editors are unreliable. But, who has the time to take a refresher English class?
Beginning September 20, Bibliophilic Blather will offer editing tips each Monday and Wednesday. How to punctuate dialogue. When to use “I” or “me.” The dreaded “who” versus “whom” rules. Simple fixes for your editing quandaries.
Just so you know, I have held every editorial position at one time or another, from editorial assistant on up to editor-in-chief. I also double majored in English and communications in college. Lots of years, lots of editing. And I would love to help. If you are so inclined, click to follow Bibliophilic Blather in the column on the right.
Have a grammar question? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back here on Mondays and Wednesdays for the answer.
* FYI, I checked whether to use “farther” or “further” while editing this entry, so I did not look like a big dope using the wrong word while preaching about grammar, which would be slightly inconvenient. I was reminded that “farther” should be used for physical distances. “Further” is for an extension of time or degree.
Monthly topics and submission deadlines for Flash Fiction Fridays.