Category Archives: Proofreader

Mind You’re Grammar – Part Deux (II)

Okay, my lovelies, it’s time for another “episode” of Mind You’re Your Grammar, from your indulgent “Grammar Nazi”! πŸ™‚

An apostrophe does not plurality – or possessive – make. I addressed this briefly in Mind You’re Grammar, but it needs more emphasis, I think.

In MOST instances, an aIf you don't like my edits...postrophe indicates possession or contraction: Wendy’s opinion (possession); They’ve almost arrived (contraction of “they” and “have”).

I’ve (there it is again – an apostrophe indicating contraction) seen quite a lot of instances where people throw in a random apostrophe when differentiating between singular and plural…especially notice this in my day job.

Example: “Two W/M’s were seen leaving the scene of the crime.” The use of an apostrophe in this case tells me that “two white male’s were seen…” and that makes NO sense whatsoever. There is no possession or contraction in that sentence. It’s the reporter’s way of trying (and failing) to indicate plurality. It should be written: “Two W/Ms were seen…” so when it’s written out long-hand, the phrase will read correctly: “Two white males were seen…”

I understand the mistake – I’ve made it myself, many, many moons ago (Yes, shocking, I know. πŸ˜‰ ) – we’re uncomfortable with placing an “s” at the end of a word or acronym or number, without sticking an apostrophe between it and the “s”. This is why many people write: “In the 1990’s” (indicates POSSESSION) instead of “In the 1990s” (indicates PLURALIZATION). As if we expect “1990” to be more insulted by pluralization than possession.Overuse of THAT3 Cropped

Another biggie THAT many authors – NOT just newbies – make, is overuse of the word “that.” Sometimes it fits. Other times, it’s just too much; unnecessary window dressing. And if you’re referring to PEOPLE, please, please, use WHO or WHOM, not THAT. Here are some examples:

“I’m so happy THAT so many newbies make so many mistakes.” (Rachel Thompson used this example in #GravityChat on August 19th when asking my opinion on the use of “that”.) This sentence DOES NOT need “that” – in this case, it’s too much window dressing. It reads better as: “I’m so happy so many newbies make so many mistakes.” (Erm…we could have a case of overused “so” in that sentence. πŸ˜‰ )

And when referring to people: “They’re the friends that I had dinner with last night.” PEOPLE are “who” or “whom” not “that!” This sentence should read: “They’re the friends with WHOM I had dinner last night.” OR “They’re the friends WHO I had dinner with last night.” Either of these re-phrased sentences is acceptable. πŸ™‚

Here are some additional common mistakes (yes, I’ve made them to too) to be aware of when your you’re crafting your current or next WIP, blog post, etc.

  • We’re – conjunction of “we are”; WE’RE going to be late if we don’t leave now.
  • Were – past tense of “are”; WERE you at the party last night?
  • Where – a place; WHERE do you want to meet for lunch?
  • Then – a point in time; If that’s when you will arrive, THEN that’s when I’ll see you.
  • Than – a method of comparison; I’d rather have the salmon THAN the cod.Grammar Police
  • Two – the number 2 spelled out; I’ll take TWO of those, please.
  • To – indicates motion; We’re going TO the pier.
  • Too – also or excessively; That is TOO much information.

Once again, my lovely misspellers, go forth, even BETTER armed for the writing battles ahead! Your you’re welcome! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Editor, Literature, Proofreader, Writing

Mind ο»ΏYou’re Grammar

Did I grab you’re your attention?Correcting Your Grammar Cropped

I’m willing to bet that my fellow “Grammar Nazis” honed in on that title like lasers, virtual red pens at the ready to poke holes in my post. Well, GNs can relax. The rest of you, though, this post is for you. Yes, those of you who read that title and didn’t see anything wrong with it. You know who you are. πŸ˜‰ This post is dedicated to you lovely, misguided people.

Grammar - NutsI could spend days on this topic, but will take pity on you and address only my greatest grammar peeves as an editor, proofreader and writer. So, just a few words to help fellow writers with they’re their grammar. These are things I see constantly as an editor. While your less than perfect grammar helps editors like myself keep our “arm” in, it wouldn’t offend me if you’re your grammar improves as a result of this post. πŸ™‚ Here we go!

  • Your – indicates possession; Is this YOUR notebook?
  • You’re – conjunction of “you are”; YOU’RE looking lovely today, Mother.
  • There – indicates location; We will be THERE in an hour.
  • Their – indicates possession; This is THEIR table. Β Β Β 
  • They’re – conjunction of “they are”; THEY’RE going to be disappointed that you couldn’t come to dinner.

Of course, people make mistakes. Especially we authors when we’re trying to put words on paper (or computer) so we can finish our current Work In Progress and go on to the next one. I get that. I make the same mistakes sometimes. Perhaps part of the difference stems from being a teacher (most teacher of my acquaintance are very good grammarians), or being OCD (that’s me!), and wanting EVERYTHING to be perfect before you let ANYONE read it. One of the things my father taught me as a young teen (he wasn‘t an English teacher, but could’ve been), was that if I was going to write a paper (and there were A LOT of them in my future…still are, as a matter of fact), Their, There, They'reit needed to be well-written and grammatically correct. As he put it, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right THE FIRST TIME.” And then he would check each and every one of my essays for correct grammar and punctuation. He was my very own “Grammar Nazi.” He trained me well. Your You’re welcome.

A few more grammar violations I constantly see are:

  • Past – previous, earlier, having gone before; It’s PAST time for negotiating.
  • Passed – an act of passing, to endure or undergo; He PASSED the test with flying colors.
  • Its – indicates possession; The cat wants ITS food.
  • It’s – conjunction of it is; That shirt doesn’t fit me. IT’S too small.

Something I’ve noticed in editing is, Grammar Policeeven the almighty SPELL-CHECK gets this last one – its & it’s – wrong sometimes. (Oh, say its it’s not so!) It wants me to use it’s for possession so badly that I’ve begun to think whoever wrote the code for spell-check didn’t mind they’re their grammar.

And so I’ve come to the end of my top editor/proofreader peeves in grammar. Now, my lovely misspellers and grammar misusers, mind you’re your grammar, and go forth, better armed for the writing battles ahead! And once again, your you’re welcome. πŸ™‚


Filed under Editor, Literature, Proofreader, Writing

Working The Bucket-list

Everyone has a Bucket-list. The things they wish to do before they’re too old (or too senile, or too disinterested, or too dead…you get the picture) to do them. One of the things on my Bucket-list (right after getting published) has always been to get paid for reading.

Reading is a lifelong addiction of mine, I’m very good at it, and enjoy multiple genres. Ever since I knew getting paid to read was a REAL THING (since about the time I started college), I’ve wanted to do it.

I can now cross this ambition off my Bucket-list. For several months, I’ve been editing and proofing (i.e. GETTING PAID TO READ!) for my publisher, Booktrope!! The best things about working for this publisher is that I get to pick my own projects, I’ve met some phenomenal people who share my addiction to the written word, and I earn royalties for EACH BOOK I edit and/or proof!! Perhaps my favorite thing of all is when the author asks me to work with them AGAIN, AND recommends me to fellow authors. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Since I know you’re just DYING to ask which books are on my Editor/Proofreader resume, here’s a list of those currently available. Others are still in the printing phases, but I’ll update the list in a separate post as they become available. πŸ™‚


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