We’ll start with the update, since that’s what I’m currently the most excited about. Approximately forty-seven seconds ago, I sent the newly-shortened, vastly-improved manuscript for Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into It off to my iUniverse editorial consultant. She will send it on to the Return Evaluator, who will … evaluate it? The name is kind of self explanatory. Anyway, I should be getting the results of my return evaluation back within 7-10 business days.
If everything goes really well, the evaluator will love the new, shortened version, and be so impressed with my flawless grasp on English grammar that she’ll recommend me for publication and Editor’s Choice designation on the spot. In all likelihood, of course, she’ll probably find a few things for me to improve on, and recommend a professional copy-edit. But, as I’ve said before, I’m all right with that. I’m trying the iUniverse route this time, and although it might be expensive, I’m going to wait until I see the finished product before I start forming opinions.
So anyway, the book is finally moving forward, and I’m incredibly excited about that. Yay!
American vs. Canadian Grammar
I’m Canadian, and as such, I use Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Americans do not use Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Since I’ve struggled with the conversion, I thought I might share the fruits of my knowledge with you here. Some of the examples are direct Canadian-to-American issues, will some of the examples are just basic grammar know-how that I recently discovered I’ve been doing all wrong.
“Alright” is not a word. The correct usage is “All right”. Apparently “alright” was used a lot in the old days, but it’s fallen out of proper use now, and therefore we shouldn’t be using it. All right, everyone got that?
Punctuation in Quotation Marks
Consider the following example:
Janine raised her arms in a gesture that clearly meant “come hither”.
Check out the end of that phrase. In Canadian punctuation, that sentence is fine. The phrase “come hither” is self-contained, and the period goes outside the quotation marks. In American punctuation, however, you stick the period inside the quotation marks, as follows:
Robert’s face was screwed up, as if to say “I’ll kill you all with my bare teeth.”
I personally think this one is open to debate, but the American grammatical standard requires that the word “God” always be capitalized. Always. No exceptions. If you’re talking about multiple gods or goddesses, that’s all right. But if you are referring to one, all-knowing, all-seeing deity, you capitalize the name.
This one annoyed me. The basic rule of thumb is that any time you use the word “Oh” — as in “Oh, no!” — you have to put a comma after it. I think it looks silly. I think “Oh yeah!” reads much more smoothly than “Oh, yeah!”. But apparently that’s the standard, much as I am loathe to admit it.
The ellipsis is, of course, the “…” in sentences. Here are some examples of incorrectly used ellipses:
“He’s so… gorgeous.”
In case that didn’t make it obvious, the problem here is the spacing. An ellipsis needs a space before and after. So, the sentence should properly read:
“He’s so … gorgeous.”
If you’ve been skipping the space before the ellipsis, like I’ve been doing, the new spacing is going to look weird. But it’s also the correct spacing, so get used to hitting that space bar!
In conclusion, grammar is annoying.
It occurs to me that only one of those examples actually had anything to do with differences between America and Canada. Oh, well.
Unrelated image of the day: