Friday, May 18, 2007


If you are under the age of about sixteen, you surely know what this title means. Now, I'm not opposed to the bastardization of the English language when it's called for. I understand that we live in a world of text and IM communication. It's perfectly sensible to shorten your words and sentences because you have a tiny space, a tinier keyboard and opposable thumbs. I cut my cyber-teeth in the online communities of Prodigy and GEnie. I can LOL with the best of them.

BUT - and you knew there was a but coming, didn't you? - could we please for the love of all things Holy use the English language the way it was intended to be used unless we are texting or IMing? (The fact that IMing is a verb is a subject for another day).

Yesterday I ran across a letter in an online environment from the publisher of a known and respected romance/erotica press. The grammar and syntax errors in that missive made my head spin. And this person is ultimately responsible for published fiction??? How does one edit at that venture? By throwing darts at the manuscript? Fans and, I suppose, authors rallied behind the woman to say she has an unusual speaking style. So what? In a business environment (and she was representing herself as the publisher, so that makes it business even if it is someone's blog) you must follow the rules of business writing.

No wonder ePublishers get less respect than print publishers. You can shout all day long that there is bad writing in the print books, too. I absolutely agree with you. I've thrown a few books against the wall myself. But if we want to combat this "image" that we have as an ePublishing community, could we please put our best grammar forward? Especially in the instant communication online world?

Thank you for your attention. I am jumping down from the soapbox now!

Have a great day!

Translation for those over sixteen: What's up? Oh, my God! It's no big deal.

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