H/t to Captain Nemo, who spotted this little tidbit:
I love that someone looked at this and knew something wasn’t right and tried to make it better. Okay here’s the deal: When you have a box full of papers to shred, they are to be shredded. Not shread, and certainly not shreaded. Nice try, though.
“Cautionary Ghost” by xkcd
H/t to the Mighty Quinn (no relation to MRP), who spotted this little tidbit in Vermont:
Ah, these sign makers have taken the good old it’s/its confusion (which is, as we know, near and dear to MRP’s heart) to a whole ‘nother level.
Okay, here’s the deal. As a contraction of the words it is, the apostrophe is placed thusly: it’s. When it’s possession you seek to show, that’s its, as in Barbecue At Its Best!
If you find yourself putting the apostrophe after the whole shebang, as in its’, then you need to reevaluate and start all over again. Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage can help, as can The Oatmeal.
I admit it, when I was but a mighty red crayon, I desperately wanted to be Anne of Green Gables (well, after I gave up my dream of being Harriet the Spy or Encyclopedia Brown). I devoured every Anne book (and pretty much any book by L.M. Montgomery I could get my hands on), and they left an indelible imprint. To this day, any reference to Prince Edward Island or the Lady of Shalott or the name Gilbert can transport me right back to that world.
As any good reader of the series will remember, one key moment of the books was Anne’s recitation of “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. Here’s a clip of Megan Follows recreating that moment:
And, as a bonus, here’s Loreena McKennitt’s version of “The Highwayman”
Added bonus! I just read that they are bringing Anne back to tv!
It may be true that God loves you.
However, this extra apostrophe in loves may need a divine intervention.
Yes, I admit it: I read Fifty Shades of Grey. And I’m left with very little to show for my investment other than a renewed appreciation for the deft touch of an editor. Even if nothing could have been done to prevent the relentless repetition (okay, we get it! He’s turned on when she bites her lip! Her breath hitches when something exciting happens! His eyes are grey!) (seriously, his name is Grey and his eyes are grey?), at least perhaps this little typo on page 428 could have been prevented:
Okay, here’s the deal: If you’re talking about strappy summer shoes, you are wearing sandals. If you’re wearing sandles, well, then you are in desperate need of an editor.
H/t to Krodamai for this, er, delicious tidbit, which he received in an e-mail from congress.org. The juxtaposition of these two headlines leaves kind of a sour taste, doesn’t it? Kind of makes you wish they had cooked up something a bit different, no?
If there’s one thing that makes me a somewhat peevish reader these days, it’s the weedlike way some books have grown (Freedom, “Twilight,” and “Dragon Tattoo,” I’m looking at you), seemingly without the careful pruning and nurturing of an editor. Relentlessly repetitive imagery, endless superfluous information, charmless language choices—the content just goes on and on.
Which is why it was such a joy to encounter The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes a few weeks ago, with its beautiful economy of language and loving restraint. Anne Tyler’s The Beginner’s Goodbye is another such book—although it wasn’t as revelatory for me as Barnes’s book, the gentle but insistent tidiness of the text wrapped up a direct and pithy story in under 200 pages. It’s not that I have any problem with a longer book, it’s just that some longer books I’ve read lately (Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you) are such exceedingly lengthy forced marches, they are more to be endured than to be read. Every once in a while, I appreciate a book that shows up, says what it has to say, and then bids a fond farewell.
Having said that, here’s a little tidbit from The Beginner’s Goodbye. It’s a scene that comes after Aaron, who is both a widower and an editor, has just been introduced to Louise, a fellow editor with whom he hoped a spark might ignite. It’s a little wink and a nod to the editorial sensibility (although not an altogether flattering one). Enjoy!