I’ve had part of my book back from the BCS with annotations to the original manuscript and I’m horrified. There are annotations in the margin pointing out things that I’ve missed such as an and instead of an an, coulds instead of shoulds, and grammatical errors I’ve missed. But the worst for me is the grocers’ apostrophe.
I have spare commas and apostrophes all over the place (I’ve just typed apostrophe’s in the last sentence before correcting it!)
I’ve worked on AS400’s, referred to the 1970’s and dotted the text of the book with spare curly symbols that shouldn’t be there. Eek…
The shame of it all…
I got a great score in my English exams, I’ve read through the text of my book at least 3 times and I didn’t notice these errors. I’m the first to correct howlers from others I see, and show examples of bad grammar whenever I see them.
But I seem to have forgotten all of the rules, or even if there are rules at all. I shorten, I’ll I’ve, We’ll, They’ll, Should’ve etc. and I’m having to change these in some of the pages to make things more clear.
I blame Tesco for this lapse (read the Wikipedia article before you lambast me :))
The good thing is, that someone who deals with words all day long, and doesn’t use social media in his day to day life is looking at the book with fresh eyes. And it’s made me look at the book draft with a different perspective, as though I was reading someone else’s words.
And that’s important, apostrophes or no apostrophes. Soon different people will be reading the text and offering their opinions on my words.
But I hope like hell, I’ve got rid of all of the spare punctuation marks that make me cringe…