Date: 2011-03-31 05:42 pm (UTC)
I think the real problem with the self-published author was not her ignorance, which is correctable, but her attitude, her immediate attack on anybody who points out flaws. A different personality would have wondered if there was something to the criticism, and checked it out, rather than flinging herself violently into a corner, spilling the paint bucket, and then blaming those who criticized her for putting her in such a horrid position and making a big mess on the floor.

I'm not sure how new any of this is, either. I mean, Roger Zelazny -- ROGER ZELAZNY -- either did not know the difference between "lie" and "lay" and was let to continue in his not knowing, or else he did know it and somebody messed it up and he couldn't stop it. Other writers of his generation never could get the subjunctive right either. I think you have to go much further back to find really good grammar and sentence structure even in pulpy popular stuff, like Burroughs or Doc Smith. Something really has happened, but it's not really fair to blame younger people; the whole thing feels more like a very slow creeping blight to me. It also has benefits, since some of the rules clung to (never end a sentence with a preposition, anyone?) are goofy and impede colorful narrative.

P.
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November 2012

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