Chuffed to have been selected as a judge for this year’s Ink & Insights writing contest, and looking forward to being part of bringing some amazing voices and stories to light! If you haven’t come across it before, Ink & Insights is a competition geared toward strengthening the skills of independent writers by focusing on critique and feedback from industry professionals. Each entry is assigned four judges who specialise in the genre of the manuscript. They read, score, and c
Should sense and stylistic effect hold sway over 'correctness'? In my previous post I discussed the prohibition of the split infinitive, and explained why the rule is not part of ‘English grammar’, but rather an arbitrary point of taste or stylistic convention. Despite this, the fact remains that many readers educated prior to the 1970s will flinch at the sight of a split infinitive in print, particularly if each one is a stark reminder of a rap on the knuckles with a ruler.
Why is it that we instinctively ‘know’ that adjectives come before nouns, but have to LEARN that we shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition or split an infinitive? The answer is that the latter two aren’t ‘grammar’ at all, but simply examples of linguistic etiquette – completely arbitrary rules laid down by self-styled grammarians a couple of hundred years ago. We accept that fashions change - we don’t wear corsets anymore, for example - so why do some continue to impose
Today’s my first anniversary as a qualified proofreader, and in one short year I’ve encountered more subgenres of fiction than in my fifteen years as an English teacher. Early in the lockdown I had the pleasure of proofreading what I only later discovered was called ‘Cosy Crime’, and while I turned down a few examples of alien–human erotica, I seized the opportunity to work on a Regency time-travel romance (which for this confirmed Janeite was an utter delight!). Now that I’v