Ten most common mistakes in novels

Let’s make this short and sweet.

These are the top ten that come to mind from the books I’ve read over the last few months.

Factual accuracy

The best one I read this week was by an American author who set her book in London. She had her main character investing five million dollars in a private hospital (which sounded more like a care home to me) in the UK, and another character saying he would pay back every cent.

Um, MSJ, we still have pounds and pennies in Britain. Not dollars and cents.

Words

Lie/lay

This has to be one of the most frequent errors I see.

They are two different verbs.

Present tense: I lie on the sofa, but I lay the table.

Past tense: I lay on the sofa, but I laid the table.

Confusing huh? Probably because of lay in the present for one verb and past for the other.

Lie does not take a direct object, whereas lay does, ie the object above is table.

To/too

Such a silly one, and so easily overlooked. Won’t come up on spellcheck, so it needs a manual check.

Of

British and Americans use of differently. We actually do still do look out of the window, walk out of the door and take the rice out of the cupboard. Is it the growing Americanisation of the Internet that seems to be eliminating ‘of’?

I do hope British authors don’t start writing, ‘Get your hands of off me!’

Punctuation

Inconsistent typography

Either use curly quotation marks or straight ones. Not both. It’s easy enough to get this wrong, because the curly ones need you to make an extra effort with keys. Also, don’t mix double quotation marks and single ones. I read one book recently that used doubles, singles, curlies and straight. And it had been expensively edited. Aaaaagh!

Hyphens and dashes

Don’t use a hyphen when you want to use a dash. A hyphen is not a dash. Loads of books have hyphens instead of dashes.

Hyphen: –

Dashes: – —

And on hyphens … compound words. They are changing all the time.

Dialogue

Why do people still get this wrong? Capital letters, commas, full points are all over the place. In the wrong place.

‘Hello,’ she said, ‘good to meet you.’

Or

‘Hello,’ she said. ‘Good to meet you.’

But not:

‘Hello,’ she said, ‘Good to meet you’.

Use of apostrophes

Mrs Hodges had a cat.

Mrs Hodges’ cat was a tabby.

But not Mrs Hodges’ had a cat.

Consistency

Blonde and blond.

If you decide to describe the hair colour of women as blonde, don’t swap to blond partway through.

If you have a character called Anne, don’t call her Ann later.

Tenses

Don’t mix them in the same paragraphs/sentences. It is tortuous.

She said he is a nice person.

No. She said he was a nice person.

Some good tips from Kobo.

All of these, and more, contribute to self-publishing’s reputation.

But onto some well written books with a different cause for concern …

Books

I’ve read a couple of books recently that both had the same theme. Stockholm Syndrome. Neither was badly written, in a slightly trashy summer novel sort-of fashion. Damn by faint praise?

What worried me about both books was that they were basically about raping woman, which tends to get glamorised because their captors are naturally, incredibly handsome, sexually attractive, and … rich.

In both books the women were drugged by men who had previously seen them and decided they wanted to possess them, body and soul. Primarily bodily, but they seemed to enjoy fucking with their minds as well.

Now, if someone drugs you in order to be alone with you and then have so-called consensual sex when the woman has no choice, I think that sounds an awful lot like rape. Regardless of whether the men are handsome, sexy and rich.

The reality of most rape cases is that women do not get held captive in luxurious surroundings – one rapist held his victim on a tropical island – and fall in love with their kidnapper.

And the problem with books like these is that they perpetuate the myth that women fantasise about being drugged and raped. They don’t. Believe me. They might fantasise about having consensual sex with rich handsome sexy men, but that isn’t rape. There is a difference.

Rape is not to be confused with sex, love or romance. Rape is about power, abuse and violence.

Which leads me onto MRAs. Misogynists’ Men’s Rights Activists, for my more sheltered readers not up on acronyms or misogynists.

Fire Point by Sean Black was an interesting book. I nearly put it down very early on because of the subject matter.

I avoid MRA outpourings on the manosphere and anything remotely involving discussions about red/blue pills and alpha/beta males. Let alone the pick-up artist community. The MRA vitriol is extremely offensive. If they were writing the same invective about racial minority groups they would be accused of racism. But because they are writing about women, their views are not only tolerated, MRAs are listened to. If you aren’t up on this unpleasant group, wiki will give you the basics.

So, in Fire Point, we have a small group of MRAs targeting women and killing them. The leader is, naturally, a woman who also opposes feminism and women in general. In real life, prominent women also support the men’s rights movement (MRM) at the expense of feminism.

The small group of activists in the story is planning a sensational mass murder, and it is up to our two (male) heroes, who are private investigators, to try and save the day. It’s not particularly HEA as there are a fair few dead bodies littered about, but it is pacy and a decent pageturner. Nor is it hugely gory, my concern was, like the rape stories above, about the legitimatisation of MRAs.

I wondered if Black was trying to highlight the idiocy and violence within MRAs/the manosphere or whether he just thought it was a good topic for a story. A very worrying topic.

Advertisements

181 comments on “Ten most common mistakes in novels

  1. Hey there. Great post as usual. I see some of these errors in how I write, so I will try to keep them in mind. The portion on the Stockholm syndrome books was interesting. I’d probably never write or read such books, but I thought of a biblical parallel in the story of David and Bathsheba I did a post on earlier this week. Christians see the story as a wonderful love affair and happy ending when it’s nothing of the kind. Rich, powerful man forces himself on a married woman and eventually kills her hubby and the baby born out of the steamy adulterous rape. Then for kickers, the rape victim is forced to remain with the murderous rapist and bear him another son to take the throne. Totally psychotic from a now deconverted POV. Thank for the post on writing even though I kind of derailed it. Apologies

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi mike. I’m not looking at blogs, which we all read forfree and for …fun? Well, whatever. I do think when people are charging for books, they should put out a quality product. So, this is just free advice. I could make it into a chart/graph, with books I’d read (bit unfair), but people will have to take it on face value.

      I did catch up on your D/B post, but as you know, biblical myths are not my thing so I read and wondered. It’s not that dissimilar in a way though is it? So I don’t see it as a derail at all. Pertinent given the rampant sexism and misogyny in the bible. No need to apologise at all. Interesting comparison, thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for the reply. I do enjoy your writing and commentary on books. I’ve been trying to slug thru the first book of the Game of Thrones by Martin. He’s definitely no Tolkien, but it seems to be good reading.

    Like

    • Cheers :)
      I should probably attempt GoT. And Hunger Games. And loads of others!
      I think it’s interesting to write about books so long as it’s not a précis of the story. Commentary about writing style, or themes are interesting – to me. And after all, any sort of review is just one reader’s opinion. But if a book makes someone want to write something, then it has at least served to inspire some thought.
      Do write about GoT when you’ve finished.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This one made me smile for I still struggle to come to terms with Americanisms despite now having living in the country for six years. I do try to resist but a couple of months ago wanted to buy a new pair of braces. The sales attendant looked blankly at me while I described using hand gestures what I was seeking. “Ah! Suspenders, Sir”

    Liked by 2 people

    • At least you know the difference! When authors and editors get it wrong, that’s dire. And I’m talking about people who were born speaking English and may not even speak another lanuguage. Lie/lay are difficult: lie, lay, laid, lain … Whenever I’m unsure, I choose another word or phrase :)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with you roughseas: any grammatical or other errors in a book distract me immensely. I stop enjoying the story and will often stop reading. Mistakes anywhere are glaring to me. For instance I happened to see a TV commercial advertising a show in which they look for Atlantis based on clues within Plato’s writing. Their opening statement is that those clues, written 3,500 years ago by Plato are embedded in his books. Do I think they have any chance of finding Atlantis? No. When they missed Plato’s birthday by 1,000 years it does not bode well for their investigative techniques.

    An error that I see often is the confusion of “then” and “than”. Other errors that occur frequently in movies are anachronisms. There are lots from peanut butter in the early 1800’s (patented in 1884) to wrist watches and overhead airplanes in historical works.

    Cool post roughseas. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Paul

      Trouble is, too many errors and it becomes ‘spot the next error’ not read the story. Instead of reading a book for relaxation, I’m unable to stop being on error alert.

      I think I have Plato somewhere. It was part of our political thought course so we didn’t concentrate on his birthday. Maybe the TV advertisers did a similar course? ;)

      You are right about ‘then’ and ‘than’ to. I mean too. Also. As well.

      Ah. Dates. And anachronisms. I edited a book a while back with a lot of LP titles in, allegedly all in the correct order. I checked out every single one for accuracy and they were spot on. I’d previously read another book where an author had a band releasing a new album before the band had even formed! Uh? Yet the other author had made a superb job of getting a load of titles perfect.

      The book I mentioned in this post that was written by an American, yet was set in London, had someone going to Europe from the UK. His passport had stamps for Amsterdam and Madrid. No. Passport stamps within Europe haven’t happened for years. Free movement and all that. Even crossing the Gib/Spain frontier we don’t have our passports stamped. Little things like that just destroy plot credibility as these passport stamps were key to the story.

      They might tell an OK story, but can we take people seriously if they don’t do basic research properly? All they would have to do was Google something as simple as British passports/stamps. Or ask someone British?

      If wannabe authors had been brought up in my trade of journalism and had the threat of defamation as a daily part of life, they might be a bit more careful about getting things wrong.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I was going to glance through this quickly, but soon became addicted! The lack of ‘of’ drives me insane too, but then I hate gotten as well. Since when did gotten exist in the English dictionary!

    Like

    • Hi ourfrenchoasis

      Thanks for the visit, read, and comment. I’ve written about Americanese before, it probably included gotten. It definitely included the ‘of’ thing! Although from memory I’m not sure if gotten was originally English, it may have been. But, times change, and so do words. We need to keep up. But not necessarily lose our individuality. Fine balance.

      Really though, I thought it was interesting to pull together the most common mistakes I had noticed over a short period of time. And, they were all self-published books, which is sad. I’ve seen major errors by authors like Lynda La Plante, but I doubt she loses sleep over them.

      Writing and editing aren’t easy, but our audience deserves a reasonable product.

      Like

  6. There’s some Anglicizing of American English going on as well. I’ve noticed a few people using the word “rubbish” who didn’t have accents. Also, there are a lot more British accents popping up on American TV, and hardly anyone’s complaining about understanding them. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple decades everyone’s using some weird hybrid English language that steals from all over the globe. I’m also wondering if other languages have this going on as well? Spanish might, as well as French.

    As far as mistakes go, they can be quite distracting. Misusing “to/too/two” can be a giant pain in the ass (some Americans are starting to say arse, btw). I also get bent out of shape on the difference between “hung” and “hanged.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • No one ever seems to mention the reverse effect, so that’s an interesting observation about rubbish and arse. I thought Americans seemed to think British accents were cute?

      Well, language does change. But there are also different formats for different places/media. So normally spoken is more casual, fiction is flexible to some degree, technical works have their own rules, as does journalese. However, negotiating all these isn’t that easy.

      Most English-speaking countries now say movies not films. I of course, don’t watch films so it doesn’t apply to me.

      I remember from school, ‘le weekend’ and there were other franglais words. Here in Spain we have Spanglish, and in Gib we have … Gibberish.

      As for hung/hanged, doesn’t hanged generally refer to being hung, or rather hanged, by the neck, whereas hung can refer to pictures on the wall etc?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very interesting, I am always aware of these but whether I get them right every time? I hope so. I do think a lot of these are due to American ways crossing over with the English way. Especially computer keyboards and trying to get them set for UK… No excuse really.. great read enjoyed and it will make me even more aware…

    Like

    • It’s easy to know the rules, but applying them is another matter.

      I do agree about Americanese infiltrating everything, including spellchecks and online dictionaries. Luckily my computers seem to be Anglicised now.

      Thanks Gerry. I was interested over a period of weeks/months how many books held the same errors.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You mean like: ‘I was sat on the bus’? That’s an interesting one, an easy one to get wrong I suspect. I know I don’t get my own words correct, I’m a bit more picky when it comes to others though. Have to say if I hadn’t done Latin, I would be far less grammatically inclined than I am. The rigid structure and orderliness was really helpful.

      Like

      • I don’t get mine correct all the time either….not aided by having different language structures to cope with on a daily basis, I suspect.
        For me,’I was sat’ sounds passive…as if one had been placed somewhere, though even then it sounds odd…

        Liked by 1 person

          • Positive…i was sitting on the bus…passive, i had been seated – as in shown to my seat…
            I can’t translate for the life of me…but I’m sure that differing language structures slew my use of English.

            Like

  8. I do like the 10 mistakes that many writers make. Thanks for the hints. I made a mistake on the back cover of my latest book in not getting it edited as well. I wrote mondane instead of mundane. I had the good fortune of using the POD method so submitted the book again to rectify the mistake. As for those rape samples.

    A prominent doctor and professor Emeritus, highly esteemed in the community, was in court with having drugged a student of his, who on awakening found him on top fondling her breasts.
    His whole life in tatters.

    There has been a spate of medical students being exploited by male professors, excluding them form passing exams or promotions, if they don’t toe the line in giving sexual favours.

    Like

    • Perhaps I should start a notebook and list errors as I read. Post ten up a week. That shouldn’t be difficult. Important to check your covers. Not sure I would have included punctuation on your front vasectomy cover.

      I’m sure things are going backwards. I never heard of anything like that between tutors and students when I was at university. I don’t care if his life is in tatters. How on earth did the student feel? Presumably he may have gone on to rape her. Nasty man.

      Exploitation? Sex without consent is rape. Coercing women into sex is rape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the punctuation mark after the vasectomy was a bit over the top. Mind you, in the early seventies, the procedure was just starting to find traction. I thought in my own case a full stop was justified. A kind of modest but yet celebratory gesture.
        ps. just noticed my reply of ‘revert back’ came at the wrong reply.

        Like

        • Just looked odd to me. The full stop that is. Ours, or rather his, vasectomy is another story. Vasectomies are like a hidden taboo aren’t they? Not to be spoken about or admitted to. It’s good that men say, ‘Yeah, I did that. So what?’

          I think your revert back comment was actually correct, but the nesting shoves it down. You were accurate regarding tautology so I’ve changed it, although revert back does sound easier. Thanks :)

          Like

  9. I can understand someone creating a new world for a fantasy novel and imagining elements and details to describe the place. But if they are writing a novel set in an actual place with which they are not familiar why would they not do any research? At the very least they should ask someone who does know the place to do a factual edit. Why go to so much effort to write a novel only to lose all credibility with the reader?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely re fantasy, and some people create excellent worlds.
      As for setting a novel in a different country, I think it’s complex. Do you use the language and style of the setting or of the author’s home country and intended readership? So this book had neighborhood, for example, and row house and stoop. We don’t call them row houses, we call them terrace(d) houses. And while I can accept that in narrative for a NA market, I have never in my life heard anyone in the UK refer to a stoop. But stoop was used in dialogue. Porch might have been a better choice. Hallway became entry, and I’m surprised we didn’t have sidewalks, fenders and hoods. What was surprising was the use of the word bag rather than purse. Not handbag, just bag. It was a weird read! The author’s done some more books set in France. Goodness knows what’s happening in that – French dollars not Euros?

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s like the old theatre saying … Will it play in Peoria? One reader (in Ohio) didn’t like my entire novel, because she couldn’t understand the local dialect I’d written for a few of the characters. Hers was the only complaint I received though about the setting being “too” authentic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So I had to look up Peoria. As I did Bequia originally. Isn’t that part of the point of reading? To learn? Too authentic? Really? I despair.

          There are mixed views about writing in dialect as you’ll know. Some say it’s a total no, others go for a little to set the scene but then to revert, and others don’t care. Me, I’m probably don’t care. But I wouldn’t write a book set in Yorkshire full of Tyke language because the readership would be somewhat limited. Although … it might be interesting. Truth is, we all mix our languages and dialects. What’s wrong with representing that? Tim’s Spanish in Camino was fine and appropriate, I thought. Not too much, but enough to add colour. Or … authenticity.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly! (But there are still those who think we need to write and publish at a level that the lowest common denominator of the population can understand, relate to, and enjoy. Which is sad, because that LCD’s life will never be enriched by reading anything above their level. And it becomes all about sales rather than simply writing and publishing a very good book.)

            Liked by 1 person

          • LCD seems to rule these days. Weird when the internet and the supposedly rich source of such knowledge is to hand. Or to fingertips. Trouble is, everypne does want the sales, the money, the fame and the glory. I woould die if I had my name associated with JKR’s work. I joke not.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Actually, what really got to me about this particular reviewer from Ohio (who won a free print copy) was that she made it sound as though this was all my fault she couldn’t understand the dialect and therefore didn’t enjoy my book. And I only received a 2-star rating, because she couldn’t stretch her imagination around that authenticity I included. Harrumph!

            Like

          • This is the problem with reviews. People can’t divorce objective and subjective. OK, I didn’t like a book, but was it well written? That should be a priority. I used to review performing arts. One of the best plays I saw was by a school who managed a great performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

            But, this is a crap book, because I don’t like x, y and z isn’t valid. At all.

            Liked by 1 person

          • This is what I call the “Oprah” method of reading … If the book does not relate in a very large way to the reader’s own personal experience and understanding then they are unable to read or enjoy it in the way the author intended when writting. Readers seem to want the comfort of their known world – a book that speaks to them directly. (Which is exactly the kind of book Oprah tended to promote.) Readers, or many of them, are afraid to be challenged when they read. They simply wish to be entertained and not educated.

            Liked by 1 person

          • OK. Never watched Oprah. Difficult without a TV I suppose. But entertainment v education is key I think. I can’t read literary novels all the time, but I like to see if there is anything to take out of the run-of-the-mill popular ones. After all, they are what most people read.

            In the UK, there was a ghastly sickly couple called Richard and Judy. They did book promotions. I looked at one. Ugh.

            Reading broadens our education. Or should do. Having been taught to read by my mother before I went to school books have always been there. Whether Famous Five or Middlemarch. Neither were my milieu.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, Richard and Judy were similar to Oprah in promoting what the publishers, and market place, dictated, for the most part. And we sales reps added to the problem by telling our clients, the booksellers, that “This book ‘might’ be featured on the Oprah show” all to generate more interest in stocking it. Mea culpa!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Lol!
            I tried to avoid R&J at my mother’s. She was in her seventies. I think she thought they were her daytime virtual friends. :(
            But you are at least redressing the balance. There are some good ‘big’ authors, but they get very formulaic. There are also some extremely poor ones. Want a list? :D
            I can think of shedloads of indie authors who write as well, maybe not edited as well because they can’t/choose not to afford, as trad published authors. I see a bit of a mess right now. Like everything, it will, or won’t sort itself out. We will see what happens. The indie market is saturated though, and not all of it is good. Not even fifty per cent from what I read and I try to read mostly indie.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I am not very good at putting a book down once I have started. It may get better. And they weren’t badly written. Just a nasty topic which I didn’t realise before I started. But, at least there was no graphic torture in them. Things could be worse.

      Thanks. Figured I needed a little colour and sunshine at least on a photo!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. All excellent points. Since one of them was brought to my atention by a certain person not too far from here, electronically speaking, I wondered how I had ceated a problem not to be found in my previous books.

    ‘Either use curly quotation marks or straight ones. Not both. It’s easy enough to get this wrong, because the curly ones need you to make an extra effort with keys.’

    The answer turned out to be that I had taken to writing on the move. The key in question, using Word at home, produced curly quotation marks, but working away from home using Word Online this key produced staright ones. (Using Google Docs it produces curly ones.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rod. I’m happy to share tips/info/whatever from time to time, and this one was eating away at me after I read the same errors. I should say that your draft was a lot better than many published ones, and you did have British single quotation marks which impressed me. I think it is so easy to mix what we write on, whether a programme or different computer/tablet, and so we miss the fine detail.

      But if that particular comment helped, and you’ve now sorted it, all well and good. Hope the editing is going well. :)

      Like

      • I have waited a while before posting this in the expectation that you would be notified but few others would notice it. The editing is going well, and what I wanted to say/admit/confess was that I actually enjoy editing. To me, it offers an excellent opportunity for imptovement. I mention this because I have read comments over the years from people who claim to hate editing. This seems unfortunate to say the least.

        Like

        • Laugh. I’ve waited even longer because I’m offline apart from a rare foray to a local bar.
          Writing involves more than writing, editing is one aspect, but self-promotion is the other key one.

          It goes without saying I like editing …

          Like

  11. Can I just say a big YES to everything? Particularly setting consistencies and issues. I love setting, love when it’s as integral to the story as the protagonist, so when it’s meant to be an actual place and it’s wrong, the story is ruined for me. As for misogyny and MRAs, ugh!!! I stopped trying to write romance and stopped reading it for this reason. The accepted (desired? mandatory?) tropes that are so often prevalent are offensive to me, plain old bad for women.

    PS: I didn’t know it was an option to make quotation marks curly or straight, my keyboard only gives one choice. I’d think you’d have to “work” at it, think about it, to create both within one manuscript.

    Like

    • Of course you can. Absolutely no disagreement or dissension tolerated here ;) I’ve just replied to Susan’s similar comment about setting, so have a scroll up for some more examples of what was wrong in a British setting. But, I guess the question is, could you cope with reading British terminology for a book set in Britain, or would you prefer Americanese? For example, I’m used to reading about brownstone (?) houses, it’s fairly self-explanatory, but I wouldn’t expect to read about them in an English book. Hence my above whinge about row houses and stoops. It’s out of context.

      Yeah. MRAs. Say no more. Very. Bad. News. The poor discriminated menz. I don’t buy it. Statistics prove otherwise. But, as we say in journalism, ‘Never let the facts get in the way of the story’.

      Re curly/straights. I didn’t want to overwrite the post, well, any more than normal, but if you Google curly quotes straight quotes or something similar you will get the correct key combo. I’m lazy and tend to use the iPad which is dead easy for curly, it’s just a slide. On Apple comps, it’s a command or something plus the square brackets. Can’t remember Word as I avoid it like the plague.

      However, I think you have neatly made my point. Not everyone knows you can do one or t’other.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It would annoy me to see American dialect in a novel set in Britain. That’s half the fun (and potential richness) of a good book–all the lovely details and colloquialisms that add layers and allow for overall suspension of disbelief. :)

        Like

        • I like the differences too, I agree it adds richness. It’s why I loathe books that translate the most banal foreign phrases eg buenos días, bonjour, guten morgen, bom dia etc. it is nice to credit the reader with some intelligence. Even if the author lacks in that department.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes! Though to be fair, I’ve definitely seen this come up in quite a few crit groups, “I don’t know what that means…don’t assume….” Context clues, people!

            Like

          • lol, yes indeed, crit groups can be interesting, for sure. context is all! I’m pretty certain all common sense melted away here on the East coast of the US over the past few days, we’re having a heat wave–surely that’s the culprit. ;)

            Like

  12. Reblogged this on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing and commented:
    I requested permission to reblog this post by roughseasinthemed, because there was so much valuable information included that will be of interest to all authors (and readers). roughseas is one of the very best readers I know and everyone will learn from her list of “mistakes” she’s been compiling recently. Do be sure to read the comments section as well for further lively discussion. Excellent blog post! Thanks, roughseas!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really enjoyed this post! Thanks! I have, as usual, some questions and comments.

    Factual Accuracy

    Would ‘pay back every penny’ be acceptable?

    I guess it’s possible for a British character to have a dollar account somewhere, stashing millions….

    Words

    I particularly enjoy ‘I lied on the sofa’ (not your sentence, but one I’ve seen) – although here that would likely be ‘couch’ – and we don’t lay the table in this part of the world. We prefer to set one.

    The direct object hint is helpful. I don’t think I’ve made that connection, although I do think I use the words correctly.

    I have never considered taking rice out the cupboard – although I agree that we do indeed look out the window, and walk out the door.

    I also hope British authors don’t start writing ‘Get your hands of off me!’ – I’d change the order to ‘off of’ (but if the suggestion is to not eliminate the ‘of’ wouldn’t you hope that they’d keep it in there?)

    Others I’d add (since these are the errors I see most often in real life) are these: then/than; your/you’re; there/they’re/their; whether/weather; except/accept.

    Punctuation

    I don’t even know how to make curly quotations – and if you have to take extra effort to do these, why do people have trouble?

    Oh – and did you really mean ‘expensively edited’ – or should that be ‘expansively edited’? Either could work….

    Hyphens and dashes. I love dashes. At least I did until I took the proofreading course and discovered that the trend now is ugly. I did – until then – use these ones. Now —apparently —they look more like this (ie longer and butting up against the word immediately following). As you can perhaps see, I have yet to figure out how to do this (and have no clue why I would want to).

    Compound words (that shouldn’t be)…. Is a pet peeve of mine. I hate that ‘every day’ (adjective+noun) has now become the standard for ‘everyday’ (traditionally only as adjective). My boss wanted to send a card to a group of people thanking them for something, and had written ‘everyone of you’ – and I suggested that this weakens the focus on the individual contributions, and that ‘every one of you’ was better. She agreed. Rarely do I have any input in this though. Writing conventions are outside my realm of influence, for the most part.

    I try to teach ‘formal writing’ – which includes some rapidly outdating conventions – while at the same time let my students know that what is considered acceptable changes.

    Dialogue

    I don’t write dialogue, if I can avoid it. This is my greatest challenge when writing, since I have no idea how to hold great conversations, never mind how to write one. The punctuation I’ve almost figured out. Based on the numerous workbooks and manuals that we have at work for our students’ enjoyment, I’ve learned that the general rule is that any other punctuation always comes before the closing quotation mark. “… I said.” Rather than ”…I said”.
    I could be wrong.

    Consistency

    This was one of the greatest tips of that proofreading course I took. As long as you are consistent and reasonable, conventions can be challenged.

    Tenses

    Why ‘was nice person’? Did he die?
    When she spoke she spoke in the present tense, but if the reporting sentence changes to past that implies that she thought he was a nice person once, but not at the time she spoke. No?

    Books

    In my younger days I read a fair number of penny dreadfuls – cause they were readily available to me — and there were quite a few stories about sheikhs and pirate types kidnapping young women and falling in love with them. This sounded quite romantic before I recognized the violence for what it was.

    May I suggest a wording change in your sentence “Now if someone drugs you in order to….”?
    Change ‘the woman has no choice’ to ‘you have no choice.” (Consistency, and all…)

    Your MRA section introduced me to some new terminology – although I won’t ask questions about that, because I don’t really need to know. I am glad I don’t have to read all the books that you do. At the moment, I much prefer reading for enjoyment if I have a choice.

    Like

    • Oh nos! Now I know why you looked over the Tiger Fierce :D Okies. Here we go.

      Pay back every penny, yes of course. He could have a dollar account maybe, but why would he pay dollars into a British hospital/care home? Based in London, his main accounts would be in sterling. That’s like saying a New York mafia boss paid millions of pounds into a Connecticut care home. Does that ring true?

      I lied on the sofa. Love it. The object thing is the whole trans/intransitive verb thing. But it’s easier to say the verb takes an object or not. It can help to get the verb form right. For what it’s worth. Actually we set the table as well.

      On one of my previous grammar/words post I included one or two mistakes. The eye picks up what it chooses. Well spotted.

      Of your list, accept/except is a real grater as is affect/effect. But, in honesty none of those or your other examples were major culprits and I was attempting some honesty.

      Curly quotations are a couple of key combos on a computer, easy slide on an iPad.

      Expensively, as in charging more than I do.

      The dashes. I agree—em dashes do look ugly—compared with nice – little – en dashes. British style is flexible on this, North American tends to be keener on the intrusive em dash. I looked at my ancient version of Jane Eyre. Full of em dashes! I tend to advise people to do what they prefer – but not – to use hyphens. Hyphens are not dashes.

      Compound words are difficult. I thought the kobo link I gave was good if you read it. We need to check everything for sense and emphasis. I tend to use Chicago as it is very specific, but still read around to check and consider what someone is trying to say.

      On dialogue, NA punctuation and British vary. NA always has the punctuation before the quotation marks, if we have something in quotation marks, can’t think of an example, the final point can come outside. Not usually in dialogue though.

      Reported speech. If she spoke, it’s already past tense or otherwise she would speak. Diana says Chris is a nice person. Diana said (that) Chris was a nice person. It’s just how it goes. Classic fail in journalism! The councillor said that the proposed new building was an eyesore. It just has to drop back a tense. Not just that though. People mixing tenses generally is a real jar on the eye.

      Consistency. Nicely done, but this is penny dreadful journalism after all :)

      I try and read widely. Both blogwise (still waiting …) and bookwise. If you have no desire I do not recommend MRAs or the manosphere or the red pill. Unless you wish to make yourself aware. Not good. At all.

      Thanks as ever. You could make a blog post out of your responses to mine! Get onto it!

      Like

      • I think you called me a name — on a response to Ark…– but since I can’t pronounce “whinger” I will ignore you. Unless you’d care to tell me how to say the word, in which case I’ll be temporarily insulted, just for show. Is that an alternate spelling for “whiner”?

        I loved looking over The Tiger Fierce! loved. loved. loved it. And was grateful that I was able to find several things to recommend. Many of my comments — about photos as well as prose (almost all, in fact?) were positively received — and many acted upon. And the thing I liked at least as much, I think, was that when I saw the finished product I was totally amazed at how improved it was from the version I saw. The other pairs of eyes, as well as Timmy’s/Chris’s own insights, meant I got to be surprised and enthusiastic about the finished product, too. Chris — who really is a nice person! — chose well with her editorial picks. I have no idea what changes or advice came from your neck of the woods — but she said that all three of us found different things. The eye does indeed pick up what it chooses.

        Like

        • Whinger pronounced like binger, comes from whingeing Pom, an Australian term for complaining Brits living in Aus. It’s not hugely insulting, more jokey.

          I’ve yet to see my copy of Timmy’s book, but I’m looking forward to it. As she said she had an editor I only made a few comments as I don’t like treading on the toes of other editors.

          Like

  14. An interesting post and the comments also make for a good read. I got a bit bogged down here, after just popping in for a quick look. I also found the Bourne movies puerile after reading a couple of the books. I hope they don’t make any more.

    Like

  15. Great post! May I add to it or at least name one of my pet peeves? Its vs It’s. It drives me nuts.

    MRA’s and their ilk (patriarchy) are horrific. When I first came across it/them a few years ago, it was like being punched in the stomach. But then I stopped and thought, “This is just patriarchy.” They really aren’t that radical or “new” at all. And sorry for my double quotations; I am an American, forgive me.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love you drawing the line with grammar and mechanics errors. They do detract from a piece. Like someone commented above, if you are going to write a novel, why not take care to do the building blocks well and correctly?
    “Look out of the window” or “look out the window”? At one time I would have said there is oral language usage and then there is written language usuage which is always more formal and correct. Now saidly it seems the casual oral language is swamping/killing tradtitional written usage and vocabulary. Not a good thing. The correct forms may be lost.
    Rape is rape. Just like murder is murder. Not a game nor entertainment. Enough. You would think it’s not that difficult, but when you consider who is involved…
    Love your patio which looks inviting after a week of 99-100 degrees (F) .UGH. Enjoyed the post and comments. Would write more, but I’m supposed to be on blogging break. Ok, slipped. Addiction is like that?

    Like

    • I’m not happy with sloppiness. We can all learn from each other but perpetuating slop is not good. IMO. Although I don’t speak Americanese, I might say something like, ‘It’s out the back’. If I wrote it, it would be totally different because it just looks wrong in English.

      When I read the drug rape books and the rich men, I was reminded of the recent swimming star case where the poor (rich) boy was so badly done to after sexually assaulting the woman. What about his career? His university education? What about the woman?

      Blogging break. They’re good aren’t they? Recommended. Try harder. Another one coming up for me. Things to sort and crap like that. Barky dogs send paw waves.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I love the ingrish langwidge. I am sure I have been/ am still (isn’t amstill a lager?) guilty of some of these.
    Such posts always give me the jitters and I inevitably haul out a manuscript at random and scan it
    like a mad scientist looking through a microscope for some evidence of a deadly virus.

    She said he was nice.

    One of my favorites. I always think: So, he’s not nice anymore?

    Like

    • Oh no. Not another whinger about reported speech. We are not talking about whether he is nice, horrible, green, an alien or whatever. We are talking about what she said. And what she said, is in the past tense. Simple. So therefore, what she said goes into the past too. I wonder why I’m not grey/white/bald.

      You probably do have some of those. Or others. But as I haven’t seen, I can’t say.

      Like

      • No whinging, merely having a bit of fun. I do understand the usage of said is/was in reported speech.

        It will probably come as a shock to you but in actual fact I don’t have any said is/was errors or, if memory serves, any of the others in your Top Ten list either.
        After the lounge/sitting room sofa/couch discussion we had I went a bit spare for several months with the editorial minutiae..
        Though you are probably bang to rights about there being others.

        I do find it disconcerting when you pick up on mistakes after an MS has been through ”expensive editing”.

        Like

  18. Very useful points, K. I have fallen into the habit of looking out the window when I should have been looking out of the window. Question: does one say “she walked through the door” (which sounds physically impossible), or “she walked through the doorway”, or “she walked out the door” (which also sounds odd). Or wot?

    Like

    • I think with your Jamaican British background plus North American you could end up saying anything!

      Door? I reckon, she walked out of the door/way. Normally door in British usage. Doorway is technically accurate, but we say door.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I still struggle with dialogues…. I’m sure there are a million other things I mess up too. I liked this.

    I’m a little wary of the MRA / Romance stuff. I remember reading a lot of Mills & Boon romances as an adolescent trying to chat up the young ladies. Never really got the handsome swarthy Juan forcing his will upon the willing woman…. I found it a little silly then. I find it quite weird now.

    ( Please note coy language above. I seem to have become very prim in my dotage…)

    Like

    • We all get things wrong. Gerard helpfully pointed out my misuse of revert back, where back is redundant, up above. If it’s helpful, or even just interesting, that’s good.

      Yes, I recall M&B. Although as I wasn’t trying to chat up anyone I don’t recall reading many, if any, of them.

      It seems to be an essential feature of ‘romance’ and the ‘erotica’ books that are in vogue, for the woman to end up madly in love with the man she initially disliked/loathed. But instead of handsome Juan we now have rich billionaires drugging, raping, and tying up the women, who, naturally love every minute of it. I don’t think.

      Coy language, primness and dotage all duly noted.

      Like

    • Thanks Bridget. There are so many of them around people would fall asleep reading the list. Truth is, I’m not sure there is more to say than I wrote above. Women do not fall in love with their handsome billionaire rapist. Imagine falling in love with Trump.

      Like

  20. The worst mistake about many novels is that they were written and published in the first place. When I browse through the shelves in W H Smith I despair at some of the dross.
    Oh, and rushing the end, I hate that. Worst offending novel ever – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

    Like

  21. Interesting article, but you failed on two aspects that I correct below:

    1) Most of those books in which women are held captive by rich men are written by women. The cover often features a male, shirtless with a godly body holding a woman. His face is cut from the cover. I think this can qualify as objectifying an entire gender and enforcing gender norms. As, like I said, the big majority of those books are written by women, I don’t see the point of bringing up Men’s Rights Activists, which is point two.

    2) Classifying an activist group as ‘misogynist’ is wrong. As you know, and I’m sure you *do* know, MRA’s have, for example, created the first shelter for men victims of domestic/sexual abuse, PTSD disorders (mostly because of wars) and rape. They’ve also made various petitions in order to change laws regarding rape and abuse, as many of them considered the man automatically the perpetrator. In India, for example, men didn’t have any rights protecting them from abuse, and in the UK a petition made by them was declined.
    My point is that it’s unfair to call MRA’s misogynists, especially since many of them are women, including me and my girlfriend. We’re both women that fight for our brothers rights, and accusing someone of sexism because of their activism isn’t very nice.

    -Aline

    Like

    • Well, Aline, it certainly is puzzling that you and your girlfriend would fight for your brothers’ rights when your sisters are the ones who deserve your attention. However, there is a vast percentage of a nation who have just voted to align themselves with a leader and a party determined to bring them nothing but trouble, so perhaps your efforts are understandable in the political climate of late. I must still shake my head at the way some people try to attain power – yours and theirs seem completely counterintuitive.

      Like

      • “…when your sisters are the ones who deserve your attention.” I’m a feminist as well, why did you believe the contrary? I fight for equal rights, both for men and women. I’ve hold many speeches in various places (mostly universities) exposing subjects like male suicide, rape and abuse. I’ve also held many speeches about sexual harassment of women, oppression in the middle east, etc.

        And I’m not american, keep that in mind, please. I’m assuming you’re talking about the US elections on the second part, but I have no interest in American politics.

        I advise you to be more open minded to subjects like these, as I see you completely disregarded all the issues I listed about men, preferring to say that it’s puzzling how I fight for men’s rights instead of women. I’m not obliged to follow just one line of activism, and if it is ‘puzzling’ to you try solve that puzzle! Educate yourself about this subject, no bias.

        If you’re still close minded about this, I recommend watching The Red Pill, a documentary by a female feminist who decides to see things from a MRA perspective and realises many serious problems men, from both 1st and 3rd world countries face. She then becomes both a feminist and a MRA.

        Thank you!

        -Aline

        Like

        • As I’ve already stated, I have no idea why any woman – including Cassie Jaye – would want to align themselves with that toxic group of people. How some people can fool themselves into believing nonsense – and, in this case, nonsense that is so destructive – will never cease to amaze me.

          By the way, feminist MRA is an oxymoron.

          Like

          • Why are they toxic? Just like feminists, they’ve got their ups and downs. I’ve been accused of sexism various times by feminists just because I stated that more men commited suicide than women. #KillAllMen, #FreeFlow, #FreeTheNipple are all useless movements created by feminists that don’t really help anybody.

            You must know Malala Yousafzai. A little girl in the Middle East who truly fought for women’s rights to education. Both her and those women who call all men rapists are feminists, so it is a very broad term.

            Tell me, why did many feminists try to stop The Red Pill from being shown in theatres? Why are they (you?) so against it? The documentary tackled many issues that don’t have much to do with women, so would society/the government pay attention to those issues be troublesome to you? Why can’t you let them fight for their rights as well? Are they affecting you in many ways? That’s a pretty conservative P.O.V., in my opinion.

            And no, they aren’t! Explain, actually explain why are they contradictory. Can’t we fight for both women’s and men’s rights? If you saw your male friend get raped by a woman and the rapist not get charged and go free, wouldn’t you try to stop it? And you can still fight for women’s rights! They’re not toxic, as I, for the third time ask for your attention on the numerous feats that together MRA’s managed. Creating the first shelter for men in the UK is certainly my favourite. (Even though many feminists tried to stop it from opening, for some reason. Huh. Weird.)

            I understand that the USA are a very ignorant nation with extremely one sided opinions, try connecting with journals, websites from other nations to see things from a different perspective!

            Best,

            -Aline

            Like

          • That’s a rather sweeping generalization . . .” the USA are a very ignorant nation with extremely one sided opinions” for someone who is advocating open-mindedness! :)

            Like

          • Seeing as, out of my long wall of text you only pick that expression of only 12 words only further proves my point! What I stated is a fact, and that ‘generalisation’ can be seen by your comments. The citizens wanted either Hillary or Trump, who are both the biggest faces of liberals and republicans, respectively. If you’re a centrist, ‘you’re throwing your vote away’, I’ve been told too many times – this proves my ‘with very one sided opinions’ statement.

            As of being ignorant, well, once again you’re proof! I’ve met very cultured people in the US, during my speeches, especially, but most of them believed that their country was the best in the world, their lack of knowledge on the current situation of other countries was horrendous, etc.

            And what do you have to say about everything else I said? You haven’t expressed any counter argument besides being ‘amazed’ and ‘puzzled’ at many independent women’s decisions. I’m glad to live in a country where I’m allowed that, decisions, opinions, unlike many women in the Middle East. That’s why I hope you cherish that privilege and don’t put other women down because they think for themselves!

            Best,

            -Aline

            Like

          • I’m not sure why you would think I’d put other women down for thinking for themselves; after all, it’s what I do. The reason I’ve not responded in length to your points is this: the gist of your comments seems to be your insistence that I watch a film that Milo Yiannopoulos thinks is the cat’s ass. That observation in itself indicates all I need to know about it. Thanks anyway.

            As I’ve pointed out to you several times now – if you feel empowered by MRA’s, by all means follow your (what I think to be) misguided intentions. Oh, and just so you know. I’m neither ignorant or American.

            Like

          • You did, various times, just like I quoted. You continuously criticised my position as both a feminist and a MRA.

            And no. Only once did I tell you to watch The Red Pill. I talked about men’s issues, the compatibility of feminism and men’s right support, and many other things.
            I repeatedly asked you questions directly and you ignored every single one. You read what you wanted to read.

            What does it mean to “feel empowered by MRA’s”?

            And, once again, you put a fellow woman down by saying that my intentions are misguided, especially when you don’t present any argument.

            This, once again shows that you’re ignorant, because if you weren’t you’d be open for debate, with an open mind, instead of not replying to my questions and not present a single argument to any affirmation you wrote.

            And why are you telling me this just now? Run out of things to say? If you weren’t ignorant and were mature, you’d have corrected me a long time ago, but I see you don’t take this seriously (again, signs of ignorance).

            Like

    • Aline, no you don’t correct. You give your opinion. Valid so to do, not valid to suggest you have superior knowledge.

      And if you read my post, I was explaining to my readers what MRAs are. They may well get shelters for men while women struggle to get shelters, and fight for whatever rights men feel they are deprived of. They also share information about how to pick up women and talk about sexual conquests. I wrote about MRAs in the context of the book I had read which was about MRAs wanting to rape and kill women. I don’t find that analogous with feminism.

      More women are raped than men, more women suffer domestic violence than men, more women are paid less than men and the gender pay gap continues to widen, estimated parity well after my life expectancy, FGM, sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography. Sure I’m going to spend my time working for those poor Menz. Because what do they do for women while you are bending over backwards for them?

      Like

      • “Women struggle to get shelters”.
        No, there are approximately three shelters per zone in the UK exclusively for women, the same as many other parts of the world. Do you know how many shelters there are in the whole world for men? 10. 10 in the whole world.

        Again, you seem very uncomfortable of my support for men. Sorry! You’ll have to live with it.

        I don’t like to say this on the internet, but since you seem to have a slow mentality, and that’s okay, I’ll explain.

        My brother was raped by our own mother. She had already an history of abuse but we lived with it. I was seventeen, he was fourteen. He didn’t have any help, and even today he still suffers from panic attacks. No one takes him seriously, people say he ‘asked for it’s and multiple times I’ve yelled at psychologists for telling me they can’t help my little brother because the abuse system only allows them to help women.

        48 per cent of human trafficking victims are men.

        57% of psychological abuse victims are men. 47 for physical abuse.

        More men commit suicide than women. Mostly because of the lack of help they never got. I hope every night that my brother doesn’t add up to that number.

        Can you tell me which passage of the book was that?

        Question: do you know how the gender pay gap was calculated? If you talk about it then you must know how it works.

        I see you don’t care about people because X more than Y. You know, you’re a pretty horrible person. Even worse that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        Actually, many men did great things for women. By the way, what have YOU done for women, besides shaming them for their opinions?

        Like

  22. Hmmm. . ..well let’s see Aline. You obviously had an agenda when you commented. Specifically, you thought you’d criticize roughseas about her calling MRA groups misogynist. I happen to agree with her opinion, not yours. The fact that it bothers you is quite apparent. I don’t know how else to say what I’ve said from the beginning; that I am genuinely flabbergasted by women like yourself who want to side with their oppressors. You haven’t offered one point to change my mind. Perhaps roughseas will have a different opinion. We shall see. :)

    Like

    • Thanks Carmen. I thought I didn’t need to reply after your excellent comments (um, I agree with you, surprised?), but it seems that Aline did not realise I brought MRAs up in the context of a book I have had which did NOT talk about all the good things MRAs do but rather all the shitty rapey murdering horrible things they do or want to do. And that is my concern. And it always will be.

      Like

      • Even if that was your context, why didn’t you intervene when she started accusing MRA’s of rape? Or when she said “those poor menz”, because apparently men cannot have feelings?

        Question, what are the “shitty rapey murdering horrible things”? On the book? Real life?
        Because some sisters who raped and sexually abused a little boy got away with it, because the judge stated that the sisters are very close to each other and in prison they’d be separated. If you’ve read my comment above, you’d understand why I do not like this a little bit.

        I wouldn’t say her comments are ‘excellent’, as she repeatadly ignored everything I said, prefering to shame me for supporting both men and women. I hope you aren’t like are and are a mature adult!

        How about women who kill their children, and who rape bothe men and women? Aren’t they your concern as well? Or only people who want to protect men’s rights?

        -Aline

        Like

        • Of course I have read your comment. But the blunt truth is, more women get raped than men, by men, assaulted by men, and killed by men. I mean how many times have you been sexually assaulted by men? maybe not. lucky you.

          By and large, men do not live in fear of being raped by women. Many women do live with fear of violence, rape and murder. How about the Epsom rapist who dragged the young woman out of Pizza Hut at knifepoint, raped her and stabbed her in the stomach leaving her for dead?

          Sorry sweets. I ain’t busting my arse for men’s rights while all this shit happens. You look after the men all you like.

          I totally, obviously, or maybe not, disagree with any sexual assault or rape or whatever. But the blunt truth is, it affects women more than men. So no. I am not spending my time looking after the men.You want to do that, fine.

          Like

          • https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

            Here’s quickly one more.

            So you’re saying that you only care about issues in which only counts the majority? Then fuck me because straight women have more chance of getting assaulted than gay women.

            That’s a ignorant train of thought, especially when you say you burst ‘your arse out’ when… what have you ever done for activism? I havn’t done much in the UK, as fees for just one night are quite expensive, but maybe I crossed you when we were at women’s right manifestations? Who knows.

            I see the both of your issues here is that you have a very complicated relationship with men and now you hate them.

            Hey! I’ve been assaulted by ‘friends’ because we’re all girls and it’s okay for us to grope each other whithout consent, or something like that, because I’m a lesbian.

            Like

          • I am interested in women’s rights because I consider women are oppressed and discriminated against by society. I do not consider men as a class are in the same position.

            Activism comes in many ways Aline. How many people have you influenced? How many people have old you they have changed your point of view because of your influential language?

            Sure. I have a very complicated relationship with men. Yes I hate them to bits. I mean, what planet are you on? Seriously?

            You’re a lesbian. Perhaps you have issues with men?

            Like

          • Many, many, many. I said above that I hold speeches in universities. Need I explain more?

            Apparently my support for men also affects you? Aww. Sorry, darling. How we say here, “Cala-te e come,” which means that you should stop complaining if you don’t want to do anything ;)

            And wow, I wasn’t expecting this at all. Homophobia, really? That’s not how homosexuality works, friend. But I hope you realise that hate speech, diffamation and homophobia are crimes that could get you sued.

            An homophobic fellow feminist. Haha. I wonder if your friends know that about you.

            Like

          • Lots of people talk at universities. Doesn’t make them experts.
            No doesn’t affect me personally.Calling yourself a feminist and allying yourself with MRAs does.
            I do enough. Not your business what I do.
            It’s ok, I’m up on defamation. And there is nothing defamatory or homophobic in what I have written.
            Don’t worry. I’m like James Bond. I don’t have any friends.

            Like

          • You don’t need to be an expert. Just present facts and you’re done. Because facts are reality, not your sentiments towards men. Welcome to the world of grown ups, where feelings don’t matter!

            Yes, there is. You assumed that all men were rapists and sexual abusers, diffamation. You stated that I’m a lesbian because maybe I have a problem with men. That’s homophobia. You’re saying that the reason I became a lesbian was because of my desdain for men. That’s not how it works. You’re born with your sexuality.

            Well, that explains your complete lack of arguing and socializing, not to mention your complete sexism. Sorry for what happened :( Try to go out and make some friends! If one of them is lesbian, you get to sexually assault her all you like! Hooray!

            Like

          • Aline, I’ve lost track. I assume all men are rapists and sexual abusers? um, where did I say that? But if facts matter, more women are raped and abused by men than men are by women.
            I have no idea why you are a lesbian. Apart from the fact that you are presumably attracted to women not men. So what?
            I hope your university talks are more well informed than your comments on my blog.
            When did I state you were a lesbian because you have problems with men? Huh? You were accusing me of having problems with men earlier.
            Now. Lessons is feminism.
            Women are not guilty of sexism. Go learn sweetheart. Go learn.
            Also, go vent your boredom on someone else’s blog.

            Like

          • Oh dear, you sound nervous.

            And: “You’re a lesbian. Perhaps you have issues with men?”. Why I’m a lesbian? Darling, I just told you. You’re born that way.

            They are, because all I do is present facts. You can’t fail on that.

            I think that just by reading this chain of comments anyone can conclude that I’m much more educated on this subject. I mean, I literally used arguments and sources and all you replied was how you were baffled at my decisions. Boo-hoo :(

            Like

          • Darling I don’t give two hoots who you are attracted to. Again not my business.

            I think anyone reading this chain of comments would conclude differently but there you go.

            Basically, you want to support MRAs your choice. I reserve the right to state that is not a feminist attitude. Do tell me, would you fuck male to female trans?

            Like

          • Then don’t judge me for that. Period.

            Hello, you can be both. You can support latinos and black right at the same time. Easy.

            If I felt comfortable, yes. I’ve met a friend like that on Quora and we once discussed that.

            Like

          • Oh, and this:
            “No doesn’t affect me personally.Calling yourself a feminist and allying yourself with MRAs does.
            I do enough. Not your business what I do.”

            So first you say that my views affect you personally, then on the next sentence you say that it’s none of my bussiness what you do? Hilarious. And sad.

            Like

          • Aline,
            I am wondering just what it is you wanted to convey with your comments. It is increasingly obvious that you came here with an agenda; your negativity is revealing. Remember, there are other commenters on this thread; if you wanted to make a few positive comments about MRAs it is now lost because of your rancour.

            Like

          • I did make ‘positive comments’ about MRA’s, it was my very first comment. But you attacked me and I had to defend my views, especially when you called poeple like my little brother – you know, a man, no, a boy – rapists.

            I wonder why you haven’t adressed any of my questions to you yet, maybe you don’t have an answer?

            Open your mind, be thoughtful :)

            Best,

            -Aline

            Like

          • Aline, you are now trolling and talking rubbish. You will go into moderation and spam after this. Unless you have anything sensible to say which I think is highly unlikely based on your previous garbage.

            Like

          • Why? Care to explain? Did I offend you? Did I tell the facts?

            Are you threatening me?
            Do it. I’m currently taking a course to set up my blog, so it won’t affect me at all. I’ll just have to use another e-mail.

            Like

          • Of course. You don’t have a blog. And you need to take a course? Really? You are having a laugh. Ask Carmen if she took a course to set up her blog. Ask me. Sweets, you are out of your depth. Big time. Now good night, no bad feelings but don’t come on here bleeding on about men’s rights again. OK?

            Like

          • So now you ridicule me because I’m moving to the paid version, – you know, the software, – which needs legal documentation, internet safetey, etc. This just shows how you don’t have anything to argue with. You think I’ll keep an online blog on .com for ever?

            Sorry girl, I’m completely free to come here and talk about what I feel like. Unless, of course, it violates WordPress.com’s rules (you know, that thing that doesn’t exist on the paid software version?)

            Or, you can block me.

            (By the way, the course is from The Blog Stylist.)

            Like

          • I would prefer you not to use such sexist language as girl. That infantilises women. I am not a girl. It is patronising and demeaning. Well you hardly have much of a blog anyway do you? Now, please, good night. Leave it alone.

            Like

          • Oh and threatening? No . Just don’t abuse other commenters on my blog: misinterpret their comments and abuse people. I appreciate English is not your first language although yours is pretty good, but still, you miss the nuances.

            Like

          • The problem here is that she attacked me first. She could’ve asked /why/ I was both a feminist and a MRA, instead of insulting me. You know, she CAN oppose my views, anyone can, but respect goes for everyone until there’s no specific reason to.

            And thanks.

            Like

    • Ahhh, once again you completely ignore what I say. What a profound, well reseached opinion you hold.

      Oh, I’ve never been opressed, as I live in a 1st world country! but I do make activism for those 3rd world contries women, and you?

      Well, too bad for you, I guess. It’s not like a woman who can’t even argue on the internet, respect other women for their opinion, never done anything for women (I asked you some three times and you didn’t say one single thing about it, I wonder why) and be mature is going to try to stop a shelter for men from opening.

      As long as you just are angry with men on the internet for some reason and don’t try to change the world you don’t bother me. I commented because I saw a mistake, and I decided to change it, talking directly to the original poster. But you came here and said you were puzzled about my views. Um… ok? I wasn’t even talking to you. You seem to be the one who tried to inject one’s agenda towards me. I was correcting a mistake, and you jumped to me, saying that you don’t care about ‘those poor menz’. I understand that it’s hard to get your voice heard when you, I assume, live on the internet, but I really didn’t ask for your social views. Feel free to say them, but you should expect people to reply back.

      I wish the best for you, it’s never too late to become cultured!

      -Aline

      Like

  23. I try to be careful about most of the points you mentioned. However, in my first person short stories, I find inconsistent tenses to be useful for giving a natural feel to the narrative. I have no defense for my other failings on your list: wouldn’t dare to set a story in England because I would surely screw it up, and loathe the look of not having spaces around dashes so I always use them incorrectly. I assume you didn’t attack sentence fragments and run-ons because of their naturalness in fiction. Thank you for the great post.

    Like

    • I think first person is pretty much like dialogue or thoughts, so there is more opportunity for flexibility there. I’ve recently read and reviewed a first person story and the other had a very (good) distinctive style for exactly the reason you state. My gripe is in narrative where the tenses illogically jump all over, it is hugely distracting. And, reported speech, which was what I quoted above, but that’s the journalist in me coming out.

      Likewise I wouldn’t write about Fiji. But if I did, I would at least look up the currency!

      I don’t have an issue about dashes. I see nothing wrong with people choosing their own style, so long as they know what the recommended (not by me, but by Hart’s, Chicago etc) style is. I like spaces round dashes, although for interrupted dialogue— I do think an em dash works well.

      There was no rhyme nor reason to my choice apart from the ten I’d noticed. And continue to notice.

      Thank you for your comment :)

      Like

Thanks for visiting roughseas whatever your interest and, if you comment, a bigger thanks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s