Writing pet peeves:

Total posts: [169]
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1 Tiamatty18th Feb 2012 03:26:18 PM from Now on Twitter , Relationship Status: Brony
What are some writing errors you see that fill you with an unreasoning rage that can only be appeased with sacrificing the writer to Baal?

One that annoys me is "let alone." People use it wrong all the time. You'll see something like, "He can't run, let alone walk." And that's wrong. It's in the wrong order. It's little thing, then big thing. "You can't write a proper sentence, let alone an entire novel."

That mistake will also sometimes be used with "never mind" instead of "let alone."

Another one that bugs me is "lead," as in the verb. Specifically, the past tense of the verb "to lead." The past tense of "lead" is not "lead." It's "led." "He led his force to victory." I find this mistake especially irritating, because I regularly see it even in professional publications. Professional writers - people whose job is to know proper grammar - will make this mistake. And editors - whose job is to know even more about grammar than writers - will overlook it.

I'm actually willing to overlook a lot of grammar errors, especially in amateur stories. But those ones make me want to commit murder.

My ex always used to say "on accident" and "by purpose." It would annoy me. Apparently, though, it's a French thing, since her current boyfriend does the same thing. Still annoys me.
Breath and breathe. That bothers the shit out of me. Breathe is a verb, breath is a noun. It's not that hard.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
Shadowed Philosopher
"This is a quote without a closing dialog tag,"

My god LEARN TO PUNCTUATE. It feels like someone jabbing me in the eye with a spork.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
4 nrjxll18th Feb 2012 03:39:52 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
Remember the '"This is grammatically incorrect." She said.' thread?

Those people should be executed by firing squad. It is not that hard to learn how to properly use quotation marks.
Also known as Katz
Alot and alright.
vigilantly taxonomish
"Alright" is alright, IMO; it's usually used quite deliberately, because it's shorter and less formal than "all right" and is a perfectly serviceable adjective.

"Alot" strikes me as silly because it's usually very obviously ungrammatical in context and neither "a" or "lot" is a difficult word to use.

I don't think there's anything grammar-wise that sends me into a frothing rage or makes me wish pain upon authors, but I am slightly irritated by the use of "could care less" to mean "couldn't care less".

I also dislike the misuse of "thee", "thou" and the suffixes "-eth", "-st" and "-est" by people who clearly have no idea how that kind of language is used. Often they're just aiming to parody older works, but it's not difficult to imitate the grammar accurately, and it's usually funnier if you do.
Mister Master
[up][up]I think "alright" is technically correct, but I still hate it.

I also hate when people use "of" instead of "have". You know the type: "could of", "should of", "would of". HAAATE.

edited 18th Feb '12 4:37:23 PM by AXavierB

8 feotakahari18th Feb 2012 04:40:22 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I dislike Eye Dialect, because it's usually very subjective—the writer picks the way he or she talks, spells that perfectly, and then changes the spelling of everyone else's speech according to the difference between their speech and the writer's. (Though it can be used well—I liked its implementation in To Kill a Mockingbird, at least.)

Edit: I need to learn how to make redirects. That should not be a redlink. (This site calls it a Funetik Aksent.)

edited 18th Feb '12 4:41:02 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
vigilantly taxonomish
@ Feo: Oh yes, strongly agreed. I also think it's often rather condescending. I remember I got into an argument the last time I said this, but I think it often seems imperialistic, as well.

To make a redirect: [[redirect:Main.FunetikAksent]]. Like I just did, only you don't have to fuck up the spelling of the target trope first time like I did there.

edited 18th Feb '12 4:46:18 PM by BobbyG

I don't get angry over autistic crap like occasional punctuation errors, but a pet peeve of mine is when the author uses the same descriptive phrases over and over. Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy was almost ruined by Han giving a "lopsided smile" every page and Talon Kardde saying everything "dryly." Same thing happens in the early chapters of my sig. All the characters "smirked" about fucking everything and it drove me insane.

edited 18th Feb '12 4:48:07 PM by Timpani

11 chihuahua018th Feb 2012 05:30:28 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Burly Detective Syndrome (which I made a YKTTW of but is yet to return to it). In most cases, it tends to be awkward (like Death Note fandom's tendency to call Mello and Matt "the blonde" and "the redhead" respectively. As in "There it is!" the blonde said).

It can work if its first person or a deep third-person, and the POV is applying the descriptor to a character, but in dialogue tags it's basically a Said Bookism.

12 Collen18th Feb 2012 05:41:31 PM from it is a mystery
the cutest lizard
"People who put spaces at the end of dialog before the quotation mark, " said Collen, drinking from a glass of liquid fire, "As demonstrated in this post. "
Gave them our reactions, our explosions, all that was ours
For graphs of passion and charts of stars...
"People who put spaces at the end of dialog before the quotation mark, "

I thought that thing with adding a space after a comma happened automatically on these forums. I checked it in the sandbox, and it turns out that that's exactly what it does.

edited 18th Feb '12 5:48:21 PM by CrystalGlacia

"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
vigilantly taxonomish
"Yes," said Bobby. "That aspect of this software is really quite annoying."
15 chihuahua018th Feb 2012 05:57:45 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
"Wait a minute," Chihuahua said, "I never noticed that before."

Okay, I'm done.

In terms of Said Bookisms, it's hit-and-miss. Some author's dialogue tags stand out, while others are skilled enough that they blend into the background like the plain "said".

edited 18th Feb '12 5:57:56 PM by chihuahua0

16 Masterofchaos18th Feb 2012 07:50:41 PM from the void , Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
its john and abieyuwa! by peat

If that above sentence hurts your eyes, you can see my problem with this.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
I agree with chihuahua0 about Burly Detective Syndrome (nice name for it). I've seen some writers who seem absolutely terrified of simply using characters' names, and I don't get it. It seems a bit related to Said Bookism. (Which I think is a stylistic flaw, but not something that intensely pisses me off.)

Being pissed off by typoes and grammar errors should go without saying.

Oh, and "alright" is incorrect, at least last time I looked. (So is "anymore".)
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
18 LastHussar19th Feb 2012 03:00:17 AM from the place is here.
The time is now,
That's 'typos', surely...
Do the job in front of you.
19 Night19th Feb 2012 05:00:14 AM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
I can't say I have an absolute dealbreaker...but it's been a long time since I saw an ineptly written but well-plotted story, so I can't be sure.
Nous restons ici.
20 Euodiachloris19th Feb 2012 05:30:45 AM , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
I know I sometimes do it in chat and more informal writing; but, would it kill a somebody aiming for something a little spiffier to use adverbal and adjectival endings? I can understand omitting them in dialogue (even though that still grates me raw), but in other contexts? No.

edited 19th Feb '12 5:31:26 AM by Euodiachloris

Diagonalizing The Matrix
Stream of consciousness... by way of ellipsis abuse... in an internet argument... that tries to appear cool and aloof... but has a totally weak argument, if any... lol keep thinking that if you want... haha...

People who have no concept of how to use a comma seriously folks, what's up with that.

Ellipsis not followed by a space...people never do it with question marks or periods, but the poor ellipsis gets it all the time for some reason.

Pretentious quote || In-joke from fandom you've never heard of || Shameless self-promotion || Something weird you'll habituate to
Also known as Katz
Excessive use of italics.
But "alright" and "all right" don't even mean the same thing. The former means "okay" or "adequate," whereas the latter means "100% correct." Also, with "anymore" vs "any more," the former is about time while the latter is about quantity. Such is the difference between "I don't want to buy books anymore" vs "I don't want to buy any more books."

And if we say that "alright" is wrong, don't we also have to say the same about "already," "altogether," and "always?" Saying "all ready," "all together," and "all ways" would mean something else entirely.

edited 19th Feb '12 9:51:55 AM by Lennik

vigilantly taxonomish
Both "alright" and "anymore" are frowned upon in formal writing. They're probably fairly recent developments and it's still considered standard to use "all right" and "any more" in all contexts where "alright" and "anymore" can colloquially be used. In that sense (and that sense alone) they are "incorrect", but as they are commonly used quite deliberately, I wouldn't class them as mistakes.
Diagonalizing The Matrix
I can't believe no one has mentioned this one yet (seriously, I can't):

It's = it is / it has
Its = possessive

That's it. Less to remember than that drat quadratic formula they make you memorize in high school. And yet the two are used interchangeably everywhere on the internet, even on these very forums which are supposedly lit-savvy, for some value of lit. God, why.

edited 19th Feb '12 10:20:11 AM by TripleElation

Pretentious quote || In-joke from fandom you've never heard of || Shameless self-promotion || Something weird you'll habituate to

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