Grammatical Pet Peeves

Short and sweet this morning, grammatical pet peeves that drive me crazy.  I’m sure you have yours. We authors have a hard time turning off our editor brains when we read for enjoyment. I’ve learned to live with it, but there are a few things that jerk me out of story so fast and here they are.

Number one–the word till. Till is a verb. It means to plow, turnover the ground, etc.. It does not mean, up to a time or event, but not afterward.  That is, until, a preposition,  or if you want to shorten it use, ’til.

Number two, the word, that. It is a filler word. Yes, sometimes we need it, but there are many times when it is excess baggage, like cellulose in graded cheese. Cellulose is supposedly added to make the cheese flow. The word, that, doesn’t seem to work in the same way.  The same with the words, just and very.  If the word isn’t needed, then don’t include it.

Number three, excess exclamation marks.  If your sentence or dialogue shows action, you don’t need to end it with an exclamation mark. Trust your reader to get it.

Number four, why is it necessary to add a question mark to dialogue if you already say, she asked? To me it’s overkill. Why not.  “Hey, is everybody awake out there,” she asked.  or  “Hey, is everybody awake out there?” Susan shouted out the window.

Okay that’s my rant for this morning. What about you?  Do yo have some grammatical pet peeves. List them here in the comments and tell me why they drive you crazy.




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