Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I have been rather shocked recently by the grammatical errors made by some well-known authors. Do they not take any notice of the green wavy line that appears when grammar is suspect?

A well known author, whose book I have recently finished has used 'I' when they should have used 'me'. This author said 'The two parents looked at Daniel and I.' This should have been 'The two parents looked at Daniel and ME.' If we forget Daiel for the moment, I am sure this author would not have written 'The two parents looked at I.', so why does it change because there is another person?

This is a common mistake, I know, but surely an author should know, and if not, then the editors should pick it up. This is merely one mistake. Others are the use of 'who' when it should be 'whom', 'which' instead of 'that' and the use of 'was' instead of 'were' after a conditional or wish. ('I wish I were', not 'I wish I was', 'If he were going' not 'If he was going'.

I know that many people would think I am being rather pedantic, but surely we should expect correct grammar from our authors even if we ourselves are not perfect. In my own writing I try to obey the rules of grammar as I learned them at school, which includes not beginning a sentence with a conjunction.  Obviously you can't use a word that joins 2 sentences as the start of one, but that does not stop most authors, even to the extent of beginning paragraphs with them!

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