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*.gif that really has nothing to do with this post — I just wanted to use it*

The pervasive use of texting and social media has done a great deal of damage to what was once accepted usage in language and the written word. I admit, I’m one of those people who still texts in, more or less, complete sentences and, for the most part, whole word spelling. To be sure, I sprinkle emojis and my bitmoji into my texts and emails, posts on Facebook and Twitter — and here, of course.

While I do not term myself a grammar Nazi¹, I am conscious of most grammar and punctuation rules — I’ve had to be as a lawyer who spent my entire career writing legal documents and contracts that require extreme care so as to avoid ambiguities and outright misconstructions of intent.

I have some pet peeves. You know, the usual suspects: their/they’re/there; your/you’re; tenant/tenet; tack/tact; irregardless; could/couldn’t care less²…

But the one, the one, that drives me NUTS is the abomination of the contraction for could/would/should have (could’ve/would’ve/should’ve) into “could of/would of/should of.”

Last night when wee Fergus and I arrived home after a long road trip that spanned nine days, I was too tired to do much beyond unload the car, feed Fergus and mix an ice cold martini. There I was minding my own business, scrolling through Facebook, when I came to a post by an author I follow. The post was full of typos and rambling, incomplete sentences full of weird word usage, but the worst thing of all was the “could of” plunked down in the middle.

You know what? I can’t read her published work without thinking about this tendency to sloppy writing.

As writers, KR, SA and I have spent a lot of time discussing the platform we are trying to build for ourselves. Social media is, possibly, the most significant plank in that platform, and we take great care in how we present ourselves to our followers and what we post. The last thing we’d want our followers and prospective readers of our books to believe is that we can’t write. For crying out loud.

Rant over.

Sleeping for eight or nine hours in the car while his mom is driving was surely exhausting.

¹ Just ask the editor who’s working on Eden’s Fall about the level of grammar and punctuation mastery she’s finding in our draft manuscript. We are learning/relearning so many arcane grammar rules!

² COULDN’T CARE LESS, dammit.

 

 

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