Writers who have not bothered to become literate and who are too cheap, stupid, or stuck on the lefthand side of the Dunning-Kruger Curve to obtain the services of a literate editorial staff just should not write. No, seriously. Wading through knee-high sewage to get to the occasional flower worth plucking gets old.
Oh, the signs are Legion, but I’m sure you know them well. Here are but a few:
1. execrable grammar and punctuation
- inability to use tenses properly
- apostrophe abuses/neglect
- comma splices
- misuse of objective case/subjective case pronouns
2. basic vocabulary failures:
- using words of which they wot not the meaning (and I don’t just mean inexplicable misuses of prepositions *sigh*)
- utter incomprehension of when to use/not use compound words1
- confusion of homophonic words with disparate meanings
I could go on, but won’t. *sigh* Someone(s) needs t tell these people to JUST STOP. They are polluting the English language with their illiterate, childish crayon scrawls. That was once the gatekeeping function of traditional publishing houses, and while I’m sure it resulted in some worthy manuscripts being dumped in the reject pile, at least it did not so frequently result in utter crap being published as is all too frequently the case with the self-pub democritization of publishing nowadays.
Folks who write books without bothering to become literate, with no serious intention of even submitting their work to literate proofreaders before publication, are insulting their readers. And this issue is quite apart from the issue of folks writing “authoritatively” on subjects they quite obviously know NOTHING about. That is another rant entirely.
DO NOTE: I have read some VERY well-written and edited self-pub books, however that minority represents less than 10% of the self-pub books I have tried to read. *sigh*
1I ran across a “new” example (well, new to me) the other day:
“I pushed through the rush of people going through the turn style. . . “
#gagamaggot This is the result of someone whose verbal vocabulary exceeds their literacy. The writer had obviously heard the word “turnstile” but has never seen it used properly in print, or if the writer has seen it used properly in print, stupidly assumed the correct word was wrong, and yes I have run into that circumstance. *sigh* Heck, the writer also probably has no idea what a “stile” in general is. Oh, BTW, the writer that committed the faux pas “turn style”–and committed a passel more in the course of the book that contained “turn style,”
1. is a reporter for a major California newspaper and
2. bragged up and down on the folks who proofread and edited the book that contained all those errors.