thismaz: (Dove)
When a bleeding BBC radio newsreader comes out with "People that are fighting..." you just know that battle is lost.
thismaz: (Words)
I've been caught in the past, when ranting about grammar. I've been informed that what I saw as an irritating construction that knocked me out of a story, is actually a perfectly valid construction elsewhere.

So, I'm once again asking, instead of complaining.

Does this read as a valid sentence construction to you?

---- He could imagine a place where he and X were stood, side by side.

or this one -

--- They were sat on the floor.

or this -

--- The stone had sank in the water

Right *looks at clock* I'd better get off to work. Thank you for any thoughts. I'll be back tomorrow morning.
thismaz: (Words)
Dear flist,

I think, for once, this is a question directed more towards the Brits on my flist.

The word 'alright'.

Is that an acceptable spelling?

Or would you always spell it as two words?

Would you feel differently, depending on whether you were writing narrative or dialogue?

Any and all opinion welcome.

*hugs wonderful flist-mind*
thismaz: (Words)
After I posted to complain about the word 'gotten', only to learn that it is correct usage as the past tense of 'get', in American English, I thought I would ask another question, rather than make assumptions in ignorance.

It's the word 'said', used to mean 'the' or 'that particular one', as in, for example, 'Jack and Bob were in a hotel room and Jack spoke as he paced around said room.'

I see it a lot and, on the few occasions I have thought to look, the writers were American. To me, it feels like a very old fashioned and stilted word usage and it usually causes me to back-button out of the story, if it occurs before I have had time to engage with the writing.

But I remember noticing Giles use it once, in an episode of BtVS, so I'm wondering if this is a word in common usage in America, or whether it is believed by Americans to be in common usage in Britain.

For that matter, is it in common usage in Britain and I've just avoided picking it up?

What do you think?

I don't necessarily expect it to bother you, because, well, we all have our own pet likes and dislikes. But I would be interested to know if 'said' used in that way is considered common usage. Do you use it in everyday speech or thought?
thismaz: (Dove)
Because I was reading a story that I really enjoyed *except* that the author consistently used 'that' instead of 'who', when describing people, eg Merlin was revealed as a sorcerer that had lied to hide his secret.
If Merlin was a table, fine, but Merlin is a person and so should be who.
'That' and 'which' can be difficult, but 'that' and 'who'? It's okay in dialogue, but not in narrative.

And, while I'm on a roll, there are other words and phrases that I wish I could avoid:

He/she can't help feeling, always make me ask why they were trying to.
In fact, why do fanfic characters always *have* to do so many things? -- He had to smile at her joke -- Was he fighting the urge, until it proved too strong for him? Why doesn't he simply smile at her joke? Why this constant need for compulsion?

Cut, because this turned into more of a rant than I expected )
Am I being intolerant? Yes, I guess I am. But hey, I have enough trouble finding the time to read good fic. If I read the stuff that irritated me too... *g*

So, dear flisties, especially my American flisties, what are your thoughts? Does 'gotten' get to you, or do you not notice it?

What about 'drug' and 'instinctual'?

What are the things that drive you up the wall?

As always, none of these examples are prompted by anything written by anyone on my flist, so come on, you lot, you know it's good to share. Do your good deed for the day and help me feel less of a pedant. *g* Or, at least, less of a solitary pedant.
thismaz: (Dove)
I never really gave it much thought, until recently. It is such an unassuming word that I hardly even noticed it, but lately it has started to intrude upon me.

Now I’m seeing it everywhere and sometimes it is either wrongly or awkwardly used, or so it seems to me.

Before this started happening, I hadn't considered the subtleties; I simply knew what felt right. Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about *why* it feels right, or wrong.

What am I talking about?

The sentence structure – she did something as she did something else. I’m talking about conjunctions.

None of my grammar books have been any help. They tell me what a conjunction is, but they don’t go into detail on each one. So I’m putting it out here, for you to tell me if you think I have a valid point.

I got to thinking about what it was that was bothering me about some usages of ‘as’ that I was seeing.

I’m thinking aloud here. )

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things -
of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings,
and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings."
~ The Walrus and The Carpenter ~
thismaz: (Dove)

You know those stories you read, where you don't know who the narrator/POV character is?

I've been thinking about that. So now I am wondering about good story-telling practice in this area. )
Anybody got any opinions on the matter?

Anybody got any good book recs?
thismaz: (Dove)
Or, about British v American spelling, to be more precise.

It goes like this - one day I was musing and that happened to coincide with me seeing a comment on a community post.

And that got me thinking.

And that hurt, so I stopped.

But I was still confused, or puzzled, or maybe interested, piqued, intrigued. You get the picture.

After a couple of weeks and another encounter with the question, I thought, 'I'll ask the flist. It's not a big flist, but it's knowledgeable.'

So this is me, asking. )
thismaz: (Dove)
I am going through ice cream, making the little corrections to grammar and stuff that I missed when I was first posting and I came across something in my first chapter that brought me up short.

There is a passage that goes like this:

You just didn't shout in the streets of Sunnydale after dark. It was something kids grew up knowing, in the same way that they knew not to step on the cracks in the pavement, and it was talked about in the same way - 'watch out for the monsters if you go out at night'. And just like the cracks in the pavement, there came a time when it was no longer spoken of out loud, except to ridicule, but being cautious had become natural.

The question: Is 'pavement' an okay word to use here, when I am in a young American boy's POV?
Or should it be 'Sidewalk'? Or something else entirely?

Any assistance gratefully received.
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