Tuesday, 6 September 2016

E is for Error

E is for Error, and this fits nicely with what I've been working on the last couple of months - new material for Grammar Without Tears. This little book was one of the first things I published, and it was well received. I've had some very complimentary reviews, but there has been a consistent thread of criticism running through many of the reviews: it is not comprehensive enough, readers say. It doesn't go far enough, doesn't cover enough of the field.

When a number of reviewers, particularly the ones who know what they are talking about, make the same criticism of one's book, one is wise to take it on board, and this is no problem for me because the book as it stands is very short, and cannot for that reason be released as a paperback, unless I am willing to have one of those nasty little books with (shudder!) staples in the spine. Because of the nature of the book, I'd particularly like a paperback edition, because that could get it into school libraries. Therefore it's been a long term project for quite a while now to collect enough new material that I can a) reasonably claim to have covered a decent portion of the field and b) produce a paperback edition.

Work proceeds slowly on this because of the nature of the content. It isn't something I can write away at all day; I lose my freshness and the material just isn't funny. So I've accepted the limitation of doing a maximum of one dialogue per working day. Today, I choose inappropriate word choice of 'breath' and 'breathe', and I use Napoleon and Josephine for it.
Last month, I put out a plea in several writers' groups for people to write in with their pet hates. That produced a good lot of candidates, but I've been steadily nibbling away at the list, and it's getting low again, so I am now appealing once again for people to contribute the things that make their teeth grind. It's not that I believe in writing by committee, but the approach of GWT is responsive - it deals with errors, not with first principles, and I just don't encounter all of the errors, or at least not often enough to remember them when I need to. 

I'm prepared to make it worth people's while. For every person who contributes one or more grammatical solecisms, there is a free e-copy of Grammar Without Tears (first edition). So, if there's some grammatical error you see that makes you insane with rage, please message me. You can comment on this blog, or email me at Tabitha.Ormiston.Smith@gmail.com. 

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