A kitchen sink post…

My backbrain is currently percolating a post on picking your betas, but it’s not quite ready to go.  So, in the meantime, I figured I’d do a post of randomness that alone wouldn’t warrant much of a post, but together make a somewhat decent one.

First, have I mentioned how much I love Patricia C. Wrede?  Just when I’m trying to figure out what to do with my second draft, she makes an excellent post that discusses different issues to address at both the micro and macro level.  Here’s the link: Micro and Macro.  (Now if I can just telepathically beg and plead with her to post something about show versus tell and where one stops and the other starts…)

Second, I thought I’d share a few of my “spellcheck isn’t going to help you with these” snafus from reading the second draft:

– Applies vs. apples
-tot vs. to
-of vs. off

All of these would’ve passed spellcheck (if Word didn’t automatically stop checking spelling after you reach some magical page count), but are clearly wrong.  You try cutting up some applies and see how that goes.  (I tend to reread the prior days’ writing before I continue, so these are ones that slipped through that first read as well.  That’s why you always, always, always need to read things through even when you think you’re done.)

Third, and somewhat related, I finished reading The Left Hand of Darkness and I really, honestly think there’s a typo on the final page of my version.    Shows the difference an apostrophe can make, too.

My version says,

“‘This is Sorve Harth,’ he said, ‘heir of Estre, my son’s son.’

There is no ban on incest there, I knew it well enough.  Only the strangeness of it, to me a Terran, and the strangeness of seeing the flash of my friend’s spirit in this grim, fierce, provincial boy, made me dumb for a while.”

I’m pretty sure it should have said sons’ son.  (The child is the product of a relationship between two brothers.)  Anyone reading that sentence without context would assume “sons’ son” was an error and fix it.  But by doing so, it kinda killed the climax.  I’d be curious to get my hands on an original printing and see what the original has.  (My version was ISBN 978-0-441-47812-5 – perhaps the December 2010 version?)  And this is a caution to anyone who is reading someone else’s work and thinks it’s ok to correct an “error” without running it by them first.  Even the slightest change can be a big deal.

Fourth, I’ve been keeping a running list of commonly confused words (the ones spellcheck will miss).  I only have a few, but figured now is as good a time as any to share them:

-bizarre vs. bazaar
-board vs. bored
-brake vs. break
-desert vs. dessert
-not vs. naught vs. knot
-write vs. right (I mess this one up when I get to typing too fast)

And here’s a cute link to the old standbys: Spelling lessons

(Although, I will say that definately does seem to be an accepted spelling in certain parts of the world.  Not sure if it’s business-level accepted, but it’s pretty universal among a certain group of facebook friends I have that seem to spell everything else correctly but are not Americans.)

Fifth, an interesting article I read today: I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.  Here’s Why.  Ironically, fifteen minutes later I was reading a blog post by a PhD who happened to use “its” instead of “it’s.”  I wonder if I’d pass that man’s grammar test…I like to hope I would, but you never know.

And last, but definitely not least, a little bit of Hayibo humor for the day: ANC slams racist weather for turning Eastern Cape white.  (Love them.)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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