For fun I read grammar blogs, writing blogs, and copy editing blogs. I know, I’m weird, but I have an excuse – I write! A lot! I learn from these blogs and use my findings to rid my stories of items that sticklers love to stickle.
One example that comes to mind right now focuses on the words poor, pore, and pour. The blogger, who is an editor, talked about why he/she didn’t like self-published books by citing the above set of words as an example on quality writing. The self-published author the blogger focused on had incorrectly used the word poured to indicate a character studying a text. The correct word should be pored.
I filed that tidbit away and when I next opened the draft of my book, I checked for the words. Wouldn’t you know it? I too had used poured wrongly in the context of a sentence. A quick change and now I was good to go. And of course, fixing these errors on your own doesn’t mean you can skip hiring a real editor to edit your work, – which I did when I was finished with my edits, – but it does keep potential errors from escaping detection. If you know it, you should fix it.
What grammatical errors bother you the most when you read?
For me it’s the wrong word in place of the right one, and not necessarily homophones like poured/pored, but the unintentional malapropisms that aren’t spotted and are left in place, where the two words are vastly different and don’t mean the same thing at all. Not even books from big name publishers are 100% free of these errors, but they do occur less frequently due to vigorous editing.
Over to you!