Floyd Hyatt’s Mechanics Pt 1

Mechanic’s Corner

Prior, some readers noted an interest in (yawn) the grammatical side of writing, which even for me, borders upon reading obituaries on the sliding scale of column interest. Also, it requires a lot of referents to particular guides, that can get dicey, not to mention tedious.  To ameliorate this, lets just say Lynch will be the resource for the particulars on pauses and stops given in this short heads-up.

So, okay, here are a few glittering generalities on walking through the technical side of things.

My grammatical focus here is on what is perhaps the most prolific set of errors writers make, concerning spell-checking, and the correct use of stops in clause construction. Beyond that, a little pithy advice to those looking at possible publication, again dealing with submission mechanics.

Again, because a few elements about stops are culled from Lynch’s cool style guide, which is still in publication,  let me note, that such passages are for the purpose of education and discussion, largely paraphrased,  provided as examples only, as fair use, to highlight  certain elements of  grammar, and that the passage contents only reflect general information  available within the public domain. Of course, nothing in this column is offered for sale, so don’t hit me.

Tips: Common Typos

Errors that word processors won’t catch.
Life beyond running your spell checker.  These kinds of common typos will need to be picked up in re-reading Manuscripts critically:

Sound the same, but:

Past, Passed.
I passed the car. – I remember the past.  

Its, It’s.
Its (possessive form of it)  It’s – Contraction of : it is  or  it has (As Above)

Current, Currant.
Current, as in recent.  Currant, As in a berry or bush.

Seem,  Seam.
It seems logical.  There was a seam in the dress.   

Fat finger errors like:
(All these will pass spell check, but may be typos caused by left out letters, or added letters, wrong key strokes.)

(A, Am– An, And)  
(Our, Out)
(If, Of, Or)

The list of such errors is large, their occurrence frequent while typing, so checking for them yourself visually or having them checked for, is important.

Here endeth Part the Firft.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A spelling mistake that a spell-check program can’t catch causes chaos.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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