A Plea for Preciser Language

Not everyone is a grammar nazi and spelling tyrant as I am. And some people write so brilliantly that spelling and grammar mistakes are more easily overlooked. I don’t know any of those people, but I’m told they exist. The vast majority of writers will do themselves a huge favor if they do their best to use precise language, grammar, and punctuation in everything they produce.

Below are a few incorrect or imprecise usages I see regularly that I plead with you to correct when you write stuff in the future.

Blog v. blog post

It seems as though I see this nearly every day. Someone might say, “Great blog,” when they mean “Great blog post.” I know it seems minor, but to be precise, a “blog” is the site where “blog posts” appear. “Blog” can also be a verb, of course; a blogger blogs by posting blog posts on a blog. Easy peasy, right?

“Fiction novel”

I’ve commented on this pet peeve of mine several times on this blog (in blog posts, no less), but I keep seeing it nonetheless. It’s almost as if no one reads what I write … or no one cares about the things that peeve me. Nonetheless, since all novels are fiction, “fiction novel” is redundantly redundant.

“Could care less”

I saw this in a published book just the other day, and it never fails to stop me short. Please bear in mind that if you could care less, you care some. The correct phrase is “couldn’t care less,” which means, of course, that you don’t care at all.

“Doesn’t jive”

Unless you’re saying that something or someone doesn’t dance or get down with the groovy music, you probably mean it doesn’t “jibe.” “To jibe” means to “match” or align with something else. And a mocking or sarcastic comment is a “gibe,” which seldom jibes with jive.

“Beg the question”

Strictly speaking (which is what we’re doing here, right?), “to beg the question” means to make an argument that assumes the thing it’s trying to prove (as in, “Smoking cigarettes can kill you because cigarettes are deadly”). But people often use the phrase (and some dictionaries have begun to accept it) to mean “to prompt the question,” as in, “Her proposal begs the question, ‘why do we even need a high-speed rail system?’” In my little world, using “begs the question” incorrectly prompts the question, “Does this person’s work have other inaccuracies?”

“Alright”

Although altogether and already are all right, alright isn’t (and yes, I know that some dictionaries and editors allow it, but I’m not alright with them). I plead with you to use “all right,” a’ight?

“Alot”

Similarly, alot is not a word. Allot is, but it doesn’t mean “a lot.” So please don’t use it, not even alittle.

I could go on. And on. As I often do. But correcting just these seven little missteps could greatly improve your pitches and projects. Alot.

 

95 Responses to A Plea for Preciser Language

  1. Avatar
    Lori Hatcher March 20, 2019 at 4:32 am #

    Oh Bob, you are a man after my own heart. My editor’s skin crawled through your examples. Here’s one I see alot, er, a lot: devotion vs. devotional. As the author of several devotionals (books with devotions in them), I’m disturbed when people call devotions devotionals and vice versa. I recently saw this on a oublisher’s website: “ If you love animals, you’ll love these devotionals.” (But there was only one book — filled with DEVOTIONS.) Sigh. Rant over. Time to take blood pressure meds.

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 5:15 am #

      Yes, Lori, there are just two many ways to drive an editor insane.

    • Avatar
      Jane A Duquette March 20, 2019 at 10:14 am #

      How about err vs ere?

      I enjoyed your post so much!

      Thanks!

    • Avatar
      Paula March 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm #

      Lori, a few editors of devotionals hire me to write devotions for them. As soon as I began to read Bob’s blog post, mixing these two up was the first peeve that came to mind.

      • Avatar
        Terri L Gillespie March 23, 2019 at 4:05 am #

        Thank you, Paula. You would be surprised the number of authors who have corrected me when I called them devotions and the compilation a devotional.

    • Avatar
      Karen March 23, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      One writer I worked with (an elderly gentleman) was concerned that if people didn’t like hi book, they would blog about it. He thought that “blog” was synonymous with “criticize,” no matter how many times I tried to explain it.

  2. Avatar
    Sy Garte March 20, 2019 at 5:12 am #

    Great blog, Bob. I like to write fiction novels, but just for fun, since I could care less if they get published. I know this doesn’t jive with your blog today, and I know Im begging the question of why I am even posting this reply, but if its alright with you, I just want to say I really like your blog alot. I could also go on, but I feel I better not.

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 5:15 am #

      Not cool, Sy. Not cool.

      • Bob Hostetler
        Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 5:16 am #

        When my left eye starts twitching, I’ll comment further.

    • Avatar
      Sharon K Connell March 20, 2019 at 6:06 am #

      LOL Love it. A little levity leavens the whole lump. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Mary Felkins March 20, 2019 at 8:24 am #

      😀 Your response to the post Bob blogged – or the blog Bob posted – or whatever – made my day. Or, Is that even a thing?

    • Avatar
      L. K. Simonds March 21, 2019 at 8:10 am #

      Well done!

  3. Bob Hostetler
    Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 5:16 am #

    STOPS twitching. STOPS. See what you’ve done!?!?

  4. Avatar
    Scott Rutherford March 20, 2019 at 5:19 am #

    Preciser? Come on, man. You probably did that on purpose, but really…

    Good blog post.

  5. Avatar
    Debby March 20, 2019 at 5:24 am #

    Love it! With an undergraduate degree in English, a few years teaching our crazy language (that doesn’t follow many rules) and a few decades as an editor, I cringe on a regular basis when reading newspapers (even the one “of note”) and other publications that SHOULD HAVE had another set of eyes scrutinize the roll out of words. Blogs and other social media? Well, what can I say? Dictionary.com is bookmarked for me!

  6. Avatar
    Lisa March 20, 2019 at 5:45 am #

    This is helpful. I’ve never heard “jibe,” and I’m old. Thank you for clarifying.

  7. Avatar
    Texie Susan Gregory March 20, 2019 at 5:49 am #

    Misuse of “awe” and “aww” is awful, too!

  8. Avatar
    Jennifer Mugrage March 20, 2019 at 5:56 am #

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for that “begging the question” thing!!! I thought I was the last person on earth who knew what it originally meant!

    It is ROUTINELY used to mean “prompts the question” or “raises the question” in broadcasting and commentary …. Even by people who otherwise sound well-educated. I was starting to wonder if even caring about this made me a hopeless grammar snob.

    I think we may be in the middle of a language shift on this. Probably a shift prompted by the fact that “begging the question” is a technical term in debate (or logic? Or rhetoric?), and almost nobody trains in those subjects anymore.

    In my first WIP, the worst error of this kind (caught by a beta reader) was that I was misusing council (a gathering to discuss) and counsel (advice). Live and learn.

    I’d query you, Bob, but you don’t take fiction novels.

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 7:41 am #

      Yes. No one studies logic or rhetoric anymore. And it shows.

      • Avatar
        Lynne B Tagawa March 20, 2019 at 8:05 am #

        Okay, but doesn’t a circular argument prompt a question? In your example, the questioner is detecting an assumption: that we need high speed rail. Granted perhaps she’s using the term a bit incorrectly. Should she say, “You’re begging the question.” But no one would understand! Argh! BTW, great list. Need to tune my Nazi tendencies.

  9. Avatar
    Terri L Gillespie March 20, 2019 at 5:57 am #

    Yikes. I have fumbled the language ball. I ordered Dreyer’s English and it has been a revelation. Highly recommend to you folks.

  10. Avatar
    Debby March 20, 2019 at 6:07 am #

    Bob, I read your topic headline again and I have to tell you that there is no such word as “preciser.” I think the correct usage would be “more precise”, as in “A Plea for More Precise Language.” At least I couldn’t find it in any online dictionaries. (But I still love this blog post!)

    • Avatar
      Damon J. Gray March 20, 2019 at 7:15 am #

      Debby,

      I believe the headline was intentional, but I’m sure Bob will do more gooder going forward.

      😉

      • Bob Hostetler
        Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 7:42 am #

        Damon (and Debby), not everyone gets me. But the goodest ones do.

  11. Avatar
    Sharon K Connell March 20, 2019 at 6:26 am #

    One should be careful in their writing to use the proper words and spellings. However, as pointed out by Jennifer, there is a shift in the language. It happens when the majority of people decide to use words for different meanings, or a spelling becomes acceptable. This isn’t a new phenomena. Look at Old English and you may not be able to read it, must less understand it.

    Regarding the phrase “I could care less,” I’ve heard a grammarian state that this phrase means the person doesn’t care at all, and that “I couldn’t care less,” means they do care because of the hint of a double negative. So which of you are correct?

    Personally, I like using the old meanings and spellings. Will probably stick with those until my writing days are over.

    Still, people make mistakes. You can read over the comments here and see that (not naming names). I think a little wiggle room might be in order if the meaning in the dictionary has changed from the original and a writer chooses to use it. But that’s just my opinion.

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 7:43 am #

      Perhaps in some language “I could care less” means the same as “I could care some” or “I could care more.” I just don’t speak it. Or write it.

      • Avatar
        claire o'sullivan March 20, 2019 at 2:37 pm #

        Meh

        How about, “I don’t care,” ore… sum venison thuswise there four and where with all…

        For! Fore! Four! Fear? My golfing, that is <– tee hee

      • Avatar
        Don Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm #

        “I could care less,” when spoken, can convey the sarcasm implicit in the phrase. When written, no such verbal cues correct the explicit meaning of the phrase.

    • Avatar
      Jennifer Mugrage March 20, 2019 at 10:13 am #

      Sometimes our commenting mistakes are due to Autocorrect.

      “I could care less” never bothers me in speech. I always just figured it means “I couldn’t care less,” but the -n’t is dropped because it sounds awkward and messes with rhythm of the phrase. Which makes it more akin to “it’s” and “’tis.”

  12. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 20, 2019 at 6:37 am #

    I really could care less
    about this imprecisier thang,
    and you’ll see its for the best
    when you read what I have brang.
    Maybe all my words don’t jive,
    but my blogs they got rhythm, man,
    alright? And I’m gonna thrive
    alot; my fiction novel’s got elan!
    I’m really not adverse to learning;
    erudition’s not an aversary;
    like a miner when the mine is burning
    I run when I see the dead cannery.
    So, does this sonnet beg the question
    “Does bad rhyme bring indigestion?”

    • Avatar
      Damon J. Gray March 20, 2019 at 7:32 am #

      LOL!!!

      This is one of your better poems, Andrew. Brilliantly done.

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 7:44 am #

      Twitching. Or is it “t’ witching?”

  13. Avatar
    Lillian March 20, 2019 at 7:15 am #

    LOL with this Blog…oops…Blog post. Andrew, you’re amazing!

  14. Avatar
    Damon J. Gray March 20, 2019 at 7:30 am #

    Other Imprecisities:

    1. Irregardless – this one gets my adrenaline pumping.
    2. Ultimate – when used to designate the end or finality.
    3. Well versus good. “Oh, baby you did so good.”
    4. Mute versus moot. “But then that’s a mute point.”
    5. Data versus datum. Data = plural, datum = singular. Hence, the data are, but the datum is.

    As you noted, the list is lengthy, and the places these (and other) errors pop up is amazing. I sigh all too frequently when reading my local newspaper, and have been known to leave a snarky comment following online news stories – “Does anyone proofread these stories before publishing them?”

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 7:45 am #

      Damon, our breed is shrinking.

    • Avatar
      Shirlee Abbott March 20, 2019 at 10:01 am #

      Damon, I would welcome more mute points–the sweet sound of silence.

      • Avatar
        Damon J. Gray March 20, 2019 at 11:02 am #

        LOL!!! Shirlee, I need to not read these while at work. Those in neighboring offices are becoming concerned. 😉

  15. Avatar
    Jeanne March 20, 2019 at 8:18 am #

    LOVED your blog post – see? I learned something! Need more, please.

  16. Avatar
    Liliose March 20, 2019 at 8:25 am #

    Thanks Bob for those corrections. They drive me crazy too.
    Especially when people are feeling comfter from being comfterble instead of comfortable…
    and also when they were woken up by a loud sound instead of awakened.
    It’s amazing that even official business communications and such can have these errors. No one is perfect, but today they are not teaching English as some of us learned it back when they also taught penmanship or cursive.
    (What’s that?)

  17. Avatar
    Sy Garte March 20, 2019 at 8:26 am #

    Andrew, I must (yet again) tip my hat to you. Brilliant.

  18. Avatar
    Carol Ashby March 20, 2019 at 8:38 am #

    Bob, I agree that novels are, by definition, fiction. But when I start typing “Biblical fiction” into Amazon search, it suggests “biblical fiction novels” as soon as I type the f. I don’t use the combo myself, but I can see where someone might think it’s an appropriate term if Amazon suggests it as the number 2 search term right after “biblical fiction.”

    If they’ve been doing comp analysis before submitting their proposal, like we’re supposed to, they might think that’s a proper professional phrase.

  19. Avatar
    Bryan Mitchell March 20, 2019 at 8:50 am #

    I feel so tempted to butcher my grammar now. I shall resist!

  20. Avatar
    Bill Giovannetti March 20, 2019 at 8:52 am #

    May I give you a hug?

  21. Avatar
    Carol Ashby March 20, 2019 at 9:13 am #

    My biggest bugbear is the use of “less” when it should be “fewer.” Fewer is the correct choice when you can count the individual items. Less is for an amount of something not easily counted, so it’s “more flour” but “fewer apples.” It drives me crazy (crazier?) when the stores post “10 items or less.” Making it 40 items or less wouldn’t help at all, even when that’s the only short line.

    • Avatar
      Jennifer Mugrage March 20, 2019 at 10:16 am #

      I have never been able to figure this one out.

      Especially when it applies to things that are basically mass nouns, but are measure with numbers, like money, or distance.

      “It’s less than a mile”
      “It’s less than 10 miles”

      That just sounds right to me. “It’s fewer than 10 miles” …. what???

      • Avatar
        Carol Ashby March 20, 2019 at 10:30 am #

        Maybe you can treat it as sloppy slang and just go with it.

      • Avatar
        Judith Robl March 20, 2019 at 8:50 pm #

        Jennifer, the clue is in the number.

        It is less than a mile to my house.
        It’s fewer than ten miles to my daughter’s house.

        When you start counting individual items, you use fewer.

        Sorry, the old English teacher in me sometimes will not be silenced.

        • Avatar
          Don Hostetler March 21, 2019 at 7:44 am #

          I beg to disagree. 9 miles are fewer than 10 miles. 10.5 miles is less (length) than 10 miles.

    • Avatar
      Damon J. Gray March 20, 2019 at 11:07 am #

      Oh Carol, I am SO with you on the Less/Fewer mashup. That one drives me nutz-o. I still remember a conversation with a woman who was explaining her purchase choice to me. “I like this one because it’s more quality.”

      Cringe-worthy!

  22. Avatar
    Ann L Coker March 20, 2019 at 9:25 am #

    Bob, I also read with that editor’s eye, wanting to contact the author or publisher about errors or misprints.
    I found the following in “Word of the Day” and thought of you:
    “English orthography was not yet regularized in William Shakespeare’s time, so words often had many different spellings.”
    I’m enjoying “The Bard and the Bible,” and appreciate your humor and research.

  23. Avatar
    Lois March 20, 2019 at 10:59 am #

    Eye twitching, rise in blood pressure, pumping heart. My reaction is heartburn (though it’s settled around my diaphragm). What other symptoms might such egregious misuse of grammar induce? If you’re clutching your chest, please stop typing and call 911. If you’re clutching a pet you’re probably okay. Just be sure it gets a treat and plenty of outdoor time.

  24. Avatar
    Joey Rudder March 20, 2019 at 11:00 am #

    My high school English teacher got so tired of seeing “alot” as one word on our papers that he went to the chalkboard (red-faced as he spoke nice and loud for everyone in the hallway to hear) and wrote “a” on one end, took a few steps and wrote “lot” on the other. I never forgot that.

    I’ll also never forget one of your posts, Bob (although I can’t remember which one!) where you explained “alright” is “all right.” Now I cringe every time my hubby is watching one of his TV shows that uses subtitles and the word “alright” appears. I do a lot of twitching during that show. So thanks a lot. 🙂

  25. Avatar
    Elena Corey March 20, 2019 at 11:06 am #

    Amen, and then some. A current usage which makes me wince is ‘meet up with.’ Ugh–smother that ‘up’.

    Elena Corey

  26. Avatar
    Jennifer Mugrage March 20, 2019 at 11:19 am #

    The “alot” is a cute furry beast. Please see the “alot” post here:

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

    • Avatar
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 20, 2019 at 11:48 am #

      Jennifer, this is for you an that cute furry beast, Alot

      Lancelot went to Camelot
      to buy another camel.
      His previous steed had just been shot
      saving some distressing damsel.
      Honest Arthur came to meet him,
      “Boy, do I have deals for you!
      previously owned, but rarely beaten;
      do you prefer one lump or two?
      I’ve got a real nice Dromedary
      with a six-week warranty
      you should see what he can carry,
      and I bet you don’t find a flea!”
      He lit Lance’s smoke with a smile,
      “Son, this deal’s worth a walking mile.”

  27. Avatar
    Roberta Sarver March 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm #

    All you who comment are too much! Love those reactions to Bob’s blog post. My peeve, also is the misuse of alot. I see it alot. Even in newspapers.

    And, while this isn’t grammar, but punctuation, my next peeve is people who misuse apostrophes. We live near a settlement of horse-and-buggy people, and they commonly put on signs in their yard, things like, “The Nolt’s”. And it will be a large family. Makes you want to knock on their door and ask if you can change their sign.

  28. Avatar
    Ellen Engbers March 20, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

    Fun!

  29. Avatar
    Ellen Engbers March 20, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

    The need for more precise language bugs me more than “a lot” does, – haha – spell check corrected, a lot, and again, a lot, and again – no joke there!

  30. Avatar
    Shulamit March 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

    A couple decades ago I was out to lunch with my father. During the conversation I got animated about something, and said, “I really could not care less!”

    My father stopped in the middle of chewing is food, and blinked at me. “I’ve always heard, ‘I could care less’ and never understood what the heck that idiom meant. Just now when you said ‘could not’ it actually made sense! Is that how it is supposed to be said?”

    Indeed.

  31. Avatar
    claire o'sullivan March 20, 2019 at 2:41 pm #

    All caps and !?!?!?!? drive me nuts. You WHAT?! Just read that recently, in addition to others.

    We all start somewhere. Several books I have read or am reading are great teachers on how not to write.

    I use several tools between books and ProWriting Aid to assist me before I send to an editor.

  32. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 20, 2019 at 3:30 pm #

    Bob, if you’re still listening in, I have something off-topic…but just for you.

    Bad things are happening, and though I am confident I will prevail, well…I just hope that I may call you Friend.

    It’s too early to be leaving
    but God alone disposes,
    and I must stand fast, believing
    He knows why the door closes.
    Your wisdom’s been a blessing
    matched with a sense of fun
    and erudition oft-impressing
    me, and everyone.
    I wish I’d known you longer,
    and perhaps had chanced to meet,
    but I’d be another would-be author:
    “Hi, Pete and re-Pete!”
    It may be best just to fade
    away, a quietly grateful shade.

    • Avatar
      Len Bailey March 20, 2019 at 3:46 pm #

      But then again, if you can be re-dundant, what is being dundant?

    • Avatar
      claire o'sullivan March 20, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

      🙁

      Prayers, Andrew.

      • Avatar
        Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm #

        Claire, thank you so much.

        It’s kind of like a nightmare now, where you wake up and find that there really ARE monsters chasing you.

        Quite a subject for a YA novel, eh?

        • Bob Hostetler
          Bob Hostetler March 20, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

          Andrew, ABSOLUTELY you may call me friend. Now and always. I know from your comments on this blog that whenever and wherever we meet it will be a blessed union of souls. “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” (Judges 6:12).

        • Avatar
          claire o'sullivan March 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm #

          I’m thinking not YA~ I hope the monsters run when you cry out Jesus’ name.

    • Avatar
      Judith Robl March 20, 2019 at 8:58 pm #

      Andrew, you are a wonder. In the midst of hell on earth, you manage to keep your wits about you and to share your wit with the rest of us. You are such a special man. A mighty man of God. Blessings and prayers, brother.

  33. Avatar
    Robin Mason March 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh, my YES!!! What a perfect blog!! which begs the question, has your eye stopped (started?) twitching yet?? I’ve writed alot of fiction novels, irredardless its a mute point if it doesn’t jive with ultimate rhetorick. Preiciest blog ever!

    • Avatar
      Robin Mason March 20, 2019 at 7:59 pm #

      OY! forgotted to mention my biggest pet peeve – but it’s all good on account I couldn’t care no lesser…..

    • Avatar
      claire o'sullivan March 20, 2019 at 8:36 pm #

      lol I think you hit every single one of my peeves. Alright. 😉

    • Avatar
      Shulamit March 21, 2019 at 5:12 pm #

      That hurts.

  34. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D March 21, 2019 at 2:57 pm #

    Bob, when I was a teenager, one of my favorite books was “Strictly Speaking: Will America be the Death of English?” Comma cops, unite!

  35. Avatar
    Debby Kratovil March 21, 2019 at 4:15 pm #

    Favorite book title (and one of my favorite books): “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss. That’s because commas (and apostrophes) MATTER! For those who don’t know: there’s a pic of a panda on the front carrying a pistol. Need I say more? The subtitle is: “The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” Gotta love it!

  36. Avatar
    claire o'sullivan March 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

    Since I hate CMS I stick to ‘Say What?’ ‘Steps to Writing Well,’ ‘It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences,’ ‘Story Trumps Structure,’ ‘Spunk and Bite,’ and Strunk and White’s ‘Elements of Style.’ Though I have issues with a book that was written in 1918 and revised in 1959… I preceded the revision by a few years. The book needs to be updated for normal people.

    Got a few self-editing programs/books to cut my words down, streamline grammar before I send it to an editor.

    Must say, I do take issue with the CMS and 13 pages on rules for commas… insanity. But I have a grammar nazi who takes me to task on CMS flubs.

    *and this is why editors will always have work*

  37. Avatar
    Kathleen Denly March 21, 2019 at 5:42 pm #

    Yes! The misuse of “couldn’t care less” is right up there with saying, “What else is new?” when they truly mean, “what is new?” as one of my top pet peeves.

    However, I admit that I did not know the true meaning of “beg the question.” Thank you for enlightening me.

  38. Avatar
    Jean Bloom March 22, 2019 at 6:24 am #

    I go a little nuts when people refer to notoriety (a bad thing) when they mean fame (a good thing).

    • Avatar
      Judith Robl March 22, 2019 at 7:57 am #

      The differences between connotation and denotation have gone the way of cursive writing, I fear. Those of us who care about the differences are a vanishing breed.

  39. Avatar
    Debby March 22, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    I think this quote says it all: “Words mean things.” Misspellings aside, the way we use words (or misuse them) can get us into trouble sometimes! Now reading that the CMS has 13 pages on the use of a comma has my insides melting into a pool of jello. I am the biggest offender (and I should know better)! This is why one of my all time favorite books is “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss.

    • Avatar
      claire o'sullivan March 22, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Debby,

      Sounds like another book I’d like. So far, my favorite is ‘It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences.’ It boils everything down into each part of English and the use of commas, colons, etc., etc.

      I about passed out flipping through the CMS to fully understand commas. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Pass the smelling salts.

      And, I also take issue with the ‘you must have dry writing’ in ‘Elements of Style.’ Style is lacking. Few folks know how to bend these rules and still produce exceptional writing. And… (cliche ahead) last but not least… I cannot bring myself to dumb down my writing to 5th grade reading.

  40. Avatar
    Diana March 23, 2019 at 8:53 am #

    Love what you have to say. I cringe when I see local newspaper articles with glaring mistakes.

  41. Avatar
    Lewis H. Seaton III April 1, 2019 at 7:25 am #

    Yo, Bob.

    I really liked your recent blog alot. I was all like, “Dude knows what he’s talkinbout!” Their just be so many people don’t get this stuff. I realize they could care less if there writing jives with the rules or not, but I’m like, “Alright already! Hello!” This begs the question: shouldn’t somebody who writes fiction novels care alot about being preciser? Oh well. That’s they’re problem.

    P.S. How do you like your pet peeve? I’ve heard you have to feed them alot to keep them alive. Sounds like your doing a good job.

    Great blog. 👍

  42. Avatar
    Lois Keffer April 1, 2019 at 10:39 am #

    To the amazing Mr. H,

    With one short airing of your linguistic peeves you have loosed the latent Grammar Grumps in all of us. I think you might be a dangerous man, sir. I’m experiencing grave internal conflict regarding wearing my “I’m silently correcting your grammar” sweatshirt outside my home for the first time. Egads! Even worse, I feel my once tamed habit of correcting sports announcers pushing its way inevitably to the surface. What have you done?

    I’m prone to encourage you to apply your rabble rousing skills to politics. I’m sure you’ve noticed how placid that national dialog has become. (Snort.)

    Bob Hostetler for Prez! Who’s with me?

    Lois K.

  43. Avatar
    Troy S April 29, 2019 at 7:37 am #

    Nice blog post. (See what I did there?)
    Yet, I am going to disagree on ‘could care less.’
    I like the beach. I do not love it and I do not hate it. I am not a huge fan. I could care less about the beach.
    I cannot stand the cold. Cold weather is terrible. I do not care for it at all. In fact, I could not care less about the cold.

    So, ‘could care less’ does actually work.

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