Style in Your Stocking

I was shocked to find a few glaring grammatical errors in a book I was reading this week.

This was not written by an inexperience author, either.

Which brings me to the point of this post:

Errors in spelling and grammar distract and annoy readers. Before publishing, authors need to read through their own manuscripts at least a half-dozen times, submit to Beta Readers, and then on to their editors.

Once that process is finished, and the final copy comes back, it’s wise to do a final read-thru because the process of formatting can itself produce errors that weren’t previously there.

The mistakes I found in the book I was reading were grammatical:  there (a location) interchanged with their (possessive); and your (possesive) was used instead of you’re (you are).

Want an easy and quick way to make sure you are using the correct words?

For decades now, authors have been referring to a small book, named The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I got my copy years ago. It was the Fourth Edition, printed in the year 2000. This book has been around so long that I was able to pick mine up at our local Goodwill Store.

In it, I found the answer to the correct usage of the word myriad. This is one of the most misused words in the writer’s toolbox. (Many writers insert the word of following myriad (myriad of). This is not correct, although to my human ear I must admit it does sound right…

If you question any wording at all, it’s best to refer to this book, or any number of similar ones. 

Put it on your Christmas list.