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Grammar Mistakes Are Funny … When They Aren’t Yours

Grammar mistakes make you laugh . . . except when someone points one out in your novel.

We see them everywhere: on signs in storefronts, on menus (especially), and building marquees. We just can’t believe some of the things people accidentally write (for, surely, they aren’t making those gaffes on purpose)!

“The average North American consumes more than 4,000 Africans.” (Hearty appetites?)

“Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children.” (See many of those around?)

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Personal Shifts

Sadly, this is my last post for Say What? I’ve run this section on Live Write Thrive for four years now, and next year will see a new Friday feature. All 208 or so posts are compiled in the second edition of Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage. Be sure to get a copy here!

To celebrate this final post, if you buy the print copy between now and the New Year, you will get the ebook copy for free. I hope my grammar tips have helped you (and continue to help you) become a better writer.

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When You’re (Missing) a Word in a Comparison

Writers sometimes leave out small necessary words when making comparisons. Sometimes sentences look just fine to our eyes at first glance, but a deeper examination reveals a problem.

Take a look at these sentences and see if they seem structurally correct to you:

  • Tech employees fear layoffs less than bus drivers.
  • The district attorney considers those vigilantes more dangerous than the criminals.
  • This book deals more with the mysteries of the universe than the laws of physics.
  • Our profits were higher this year than 2014.
  • The US imports more oil from the Middle East than Mexico.

Can you think of what words are missing from those sentences? Sometimes you need to put in a verb or preposition to make the sentence structurally correct. Continue Reading…

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