Monday, May 25, 2015

Typos that aren't

When you're your own editor, you get to decide what's a typo. Usually this responsibility means balancing grammatical correctness with your stylized voice. But sometimes, it means just ignoring rules that piss you off.

For instance, I think numbers are disruptive. They're great for advertising, but they look ugly in literature. So when I write, I spell out anything that isn't a weapon. So Sin shoots a .40 Px4, but lives in the year two thousand nine. This is not something of which an English teacher would approve.

Similarly, I dislike the possessive apostrophe in driver's seat. So in my novels I eliminate it. I can not find a single source that agrees with me. But a driver's seat is a seat for a driver, not owned by one. It's closer to a plumbers union than a plumber's wrench. So: drivers seat. Want to fight about it?

In my upcoming novella To Guns, there's an Italian operative stationed in Marseille named Mathieu. I'm aware that's a French name and an uncommon spelling. That's because it's an alias. I just chose not to belabor it, because it's not material to the plot.

These are only a couple examples. There are probably more. Self-publishing is your own little chance to alter the course of the English language. Why not take it?

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