Friday, October 28, 2011

Around the Word

Profane book titles are the #*&%: Book titles are getting a little bit raunchier these days. As USA Today pointed out, there's been an increasing trend of profanity gracing book jackets. From Go the F*** to Sleep to S*** My Dad Says, book titles with foul language are eliciting giggles and gasps of horror from readers around the country. So what do you think -- are we headed to hell in a bookcase?

Punctuation perfectionists need not apply: While any editor worth her red pen knows the basic rules of punctuation, correcting every mis-used comma or apostrophe may not be worth the effort. Dennis Barron, "grammar doctor" and English professor at the University of Illinois, explains that punctuation has always been fluid, so an errant emoticon or greengrocer's apostrophe ("Apple's 99 cents") is nothing to worry about, and shouldn't be a factor in judging writing expertise. Barron argues that many writers and editors might fixate on punctuation because it's easier to point out a punctuation error "than to identify why an argument is faulty or explain why a text is just not very interesting." What do you think? Should punctuation be given a break?

Word wide web: We love writing, and we love the Internet. Fortunately, the good people over at Ragan have married our two loves by compiling a list of the seven best websites for word nerds. From a site that determines the "grade level" of your writing, to a service that catches any repeated words in your text, to a motivation tool that forces you to get typing, these sites offer lots of high-tech ways to improve your writing. Do you have any favorites that you would add to the list?

Reads for a dark and stormy night: Halloween may be the holiday of costumes, candy and haunted houses, but if the predicted East Coast snow (!) drives you indoors, All Hallow's Eve is the perfect opportunity for curling up with a scary book. The Guardian has put together a list of this year's required Halloween reading. Scary sociopaths, dark dystopias and chilling crimes all fill the pages of these twisted tales. What's your favorite horror read for Halloween?


Anonymous said...

Not when it comes to egregious punctuation errors in a blog post by and for writers! Really, now, "Any editor worth THEIR red pen" violates one of the most basic rules of grammar!

Anonymous said...

I posted before I finished. I realize the author is talking about punctuation and not grammar, but my answer then is that some loose punctuation or small error is not a big deal, but not following basic grammar rules does matter, at least for this audience, I'd think.

Gotham Ghostwriters said...

Our faces are about as red as our pens right now. Thanks for catching the error. It has been corrected!