resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] terrio prompts: Just for fun: What are your top 5 grammatical pet peeves? (can also include misspellings, misused words, etc.)

My number 1 pet peeve is grammatical errors that spring from people trying to be more correct -- like when people think that "between you and I" sounds more elevated and formal than "between you and me."

I hate it when people mix up "ostensibly" with "ostentatiously." This happens more than you might think.

In journalism school, they taught us that if you were making a comparison, and there was going to be a verb after your comparison word, then your comparison word needed to be "as" rather than "like." (You know. "Like a virgin," but "as a cigarette should.") I've about given up on that one -- sticking to it makes you sound excessively formal, like saying "It is I" -- but "like I said" still sets my teeth on edge.

In writing, I'm annoyed to an irrational degree by the lack of the comma that signifies direct address. ("Sherlock, is that my shoe?" "You should recognize your own shoes, John." "You idiot, the reason I didn't recognize it is that I've never seen it on fire before.") It seems to me that writers in England view this comma as optional. It is not optional.

And this isn't really grammar, though it's disguised as grammar: I hate to read something where the author writes this cutesy little opening that says, "Saying 'he or she' all the time is such a huge distraction and burden that I'm not going to do it; I'm just going to default to 'he.'" Funny how they never, ever, ever have that introduction and then say, "So I'm going to call everyone 'she,' and trust my male readers to be able to make the imaginative leap." Also, using gender-neutral language (in material that's written and edited, no less!) is just not that damned difficult.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (more doubts)
I really wish tumblrs, blogs, news aggregators, etc., would come to some agreement as to whether "going further back in time" goes to the left or to the right, damn it.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Fine thanks)
Dear Pastor Vague, here are the facts.


  1. You are not very good at graphic design.
  2. I am very good at graphic design.
  3. What's more, designing all the church's publications is my job*.
  4. Obviously, therefore, designing all the church's publications is not your job.
  5. Many things that are your job (such as strategic planning, developing lay leadership, coordinating various groups so that they don't duplicate one another's work, making an effort to see to it that our old and homebound members still feel bonded to the community, etc.) are things you can't be bothered to do.
  6. Therefore, just bring me the information about the new program and ask me to draft a flier. Do not provide me with a sheet of centered type, all the same size, with little boxes drawn on it, all the same size, where you want me to put certain specific color photos from Wikipedia, I swear to God, and then tell me which color paper to print it on while trusting that mysteriously the red background isn't going to affect how the color photos look, all right?????


[pant pant pant]

* On the other hand, things that are not my job include teaching you repeatedly how to upload a photo to Facebook (which I do anyway because it would take longer to argue) and arranging to get your lawn mowed (which I will not do no matter how often you hint).
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Snarl)
Dear Worthy Cause:

When George Bush was in his first term as president, I gave you a small donation. I didn't have a job, and it was all I could afford, but with Bush in the white house, I wanted to support your work.

Since that time, you've called me four times a year and sent me mailings at least monthly.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand the economics of these things, but I would guess that your efforts to get more money out of me have long since eaten up my original donation and then some. I thought you spent money on, you know, the actual Worthy Cause for which I supported you.

The next time I'm tempted to give you any money, I'm going to mail you some dollar bills in an envelope with no return address on it.

P.S. That goes double for you, Magazine Subscription.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Head exploded)
Hey, remember when I used to keep a Story Note Hall of Fame? I opened a folder I don't often look at, and, huh, there was a list of them from 2003 that I never got around to posting.

I don't know why I'm no longer seeing things like this -- because if I were still seeing them, I'd certainly be collecting and posting them. It may be just because when I was in HP, I didn't know most of the writers in the fandom, and so I found stories by subscribing to pairing or fest communities where anybody could post. Whereas now most of the journals I read are the individual journals of particular writers whom I'm already familiar with, and who would know better than to do some of this stuff.

Anyhow, on the theory that you might still find them amusing even after four years, I present another Story Note Hall of Fame.

I would like to thank my wonderful beta who without you I never would of wrote this. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Evidently nobody wants me to rant about bad erotica, which is my specialty, but behind the cut tag I gamely attempt to rant about inadequate punctuation for [livejournal.com profile] twistedchick, frogs for [livejournal.com profile] qe2, nonsmokers (of whom I am one) for [livejournal.com profile] park_hye_in, kissing for [livejournal.com profile] apetslife and [livejournal.com profile] randomblade, MTV for [livejournal.com profile] shoorihoshi, Ron-bashing for [livejournal.com profile] skuf, and Hawkeye for [livejournal.com profile] janecarnall.

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Ooh, the LJ Santa left me six months of paid time! Thanks, whoever you are.

I seriously doubt that rants are what you wanted me to use this space for, but here's one:

Writers. Writers who post your fiction on your own web pages:

Why the hell would you put put up a story that doesn't have your name and your e-mail address on it?

I can't tell you how many times I've followed a link and found myself reading a terrific story by ... um, well, I'm not sure who it's by. Often there's not even a link back to the home page. Sometimes I can erase stuff out of the URL and climb back up to the top that way, but other times, it doesn't work.

Also, writers? Be aware that some of us will copy your story into a word processor document so that we can savor it again later. Which means that if your title, your byline, or your e-mail address is a graphic, or exists only in the html header and not in the story itself, it won't come through. And then lame people like me will read your story for the third time and go, "You know, I really should send some feedback to ... um ... whoever it was who wrote this story. If I could remember where I found it."

All I want for Christmas is a more orderly world. And some Hershey kisses.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Ever notice how, when two guys in a slash story compare cock sizes, the result is always that one's a little longer and the other a little thicker?
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge has me thinking taxonomically about everything, so I'm now sorting my story notes into categories.

It's Awful, And That's Just The Way I Wanted It:

The imcomplete sentences are not accidental. The story is written just as it was played out in my sick little mind. So don't bother flaming my grammatical skills or any OOCness.

It's Awful, But Whaddaya Expect For Free?:

Plot and characterization evaporated, and [character] kept dissolving into a marshmellow. I tried, I did, but this turned into overly romanticized fluff. Wasn't going to post it but several people emailed and asked me to... So.

It's Awful, And I Show My Pink Belly To You, So Please Don't Hurt Me:

Category: Angst and romance – ok lets say fluff! Major fluff, get the sick buckets out – I'm worried it sounds cheesy at the end?!

The Feedblackmail category:

Tell me what you think, If I don’t get any feedback I'll just assume everyone hated and not write anymore, so FEEDBACK. Really no feed back no story. The last time I posted I only got 3 emails.

Unclear on the Concept:

I have used some of the lyrics as dialogue[...] but this is not a songfic.

And then there's a sort of catch-all category, which I'm thinking of calling the Comment Would Be Superfluous category:

Some of this is written in the [Fictional] Language and translations will be at the end.

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
or, It's Difficult To Read When Your Mind Is Boggled.

"May as well justify my reputation for posting unbeta'd fic. *shrugs* [...] May not appeal to anyone else, but it satisfied my warped little craving. Oh, I may as well mention. The plot there is... is silly. Gimme a break, it's just an excuse for the sex."

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
... or, And That Was Where I Stopped Reading.

"I do not have a beta; therefore, you may notice some descrepencies. My main flaw is keeping the same tense throughout the story (past vs. present) as well as character and plot development, sometimes story continuity."

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] amanuensis1 has just written up a list of "Things That Will Make Me Skip Over Your Story." I can't resist.

1. Foremost in my mind at the moment, as I stagger, reeling, from Sushi's fest story (which I'd really like to read, as I'm sure it's excellent): If it's posted in a light color on black. Sorry. I can't be seeing dark phantoms of your words in front of my eyes for the next hour. (There are sure to be some excellent stories on Walking the Plank, too.)

2. Lucius/anybody. Personal quirk.

3. An author's note that apologizes in advance for ignorance and bad writing. I once read a story with an author's note that said, "You may notice problems with tense consistency, character development, plot development, and story continuity." My response to that is: I know an easy way to see to it that I don't notice any such thing.

4. WIP, unless I personally have observed you, the author, finishing previous WIPs within two months.

5. I'm fond of Harry/Snape, so I'll put up with a certain amount of Conversation and/or Soliliquy Justifying Why It's OK For Us To Have Sex, Even Though You're My Student And You Only Reached the Legal Age Of Consent Day Before Yesterday -- At Midnight. But only if there's at least the same word count of actual sex.

6. Oh, and if one of those Reasons Why It's OK is "He's/I'm not a child. He's/I've never been a child," you lose me.

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