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Grammar matters: Editor's Notes #150
August 15, 2013
Hello,

The dirty little secret of correct grammar
is that it allows a writer to avoid grammatical mistakes,
but the most perfect adherence to all the rules of grammar
will not necessarily produce writing that is either elegant or effective.

--Brooks Landon


In this issue:

1. Grammar matters
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Letters to the editor

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1. Grammar matters
I probably spend more time on grammar matters than you do. Several times each day, I find myself consulting various style guides and Web sites on behalf of clients, making sure that whatever the readership, glaring grammatical errors will not creep in to discredit the message.

Correct grammar, however, does not guarantee either the value or the style of the writing. That's up to the writer.

What you say and how your words sound in the reader's head are down to how deeply you have thought about what you are saying and how well you make contact with your readers.

The teacher in me loves to point out the grammatical principles behind the writing, and when a writer wants to learn about that, I can accommodate with an educative edit or a simple answer to a question about a change I've made in a text. But often, the writer's time is better spent making the points clear and connecting with the reader on an emotional level, leaving the grammatical matters to me.

Clearing up any stray grammatical errors removes the last bumps your readers face on the way to enjoyment of your writing, so they are not jostled along the path you have laid out, but can reach their destination with a sense of satisfaction.

When you've done all you can with your text, it's time to have an editor check over the grammar matters because, whatever you've said, in the end, to the reader, grammar matters.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

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3. Interesting Web site
For more on grammar
http://grammar.about.com/od/grammarfaq/f/grammarvalue.htm

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4. Letters to the editor
Re: The writer's interview: Editor's Notes #148

There is a book called What Would Your Character Do? by Eric and Anne Maisel that asks many of the same questions. It goes farther in that it puts your character in stock situations and you must write your character through them. It adds depth to your character and helps to build the backstory -- the story that is not included in your story and comes before your story.
--Morgen Marshall

Link to What Would Your Character Do?

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