An editor with 13 years of experience, I currently work for an online editing company and do freelance work. I'm also a writer represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency. I've created this blog to help the fellow writers with writing & editing tips and advice. I'll continue to post on subjects I come up with or have been requested/suggested by others. Meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed for the release date of my YA novel BODY JUMPING.
The author S.A. Joo's Writing & Editing Advice & Tips
A professional Editorwww.sirraedits.com and YA Writer, represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency.
This is the most common grammar error made by every writer besides
punctuation errors. Here are the simplified rules of subject-verb agreement.
There are many rules and exceptions; however, I’ll just note the top three
because to list them all would take multiple pages. Turning this into an
English lecture is not what I want.
Here. A singular subject (Mom, he, store, Sandy) takes a
singular verb (is, goes, opens, has).
A plural subject (parents, they, stores, Sandy and Tom) takes a plural verb
(are, go, open, have). Simple, right? Well, here are the three key points to
Point 1: A phrase
beginning of a word “of” creates one of the most commonly made subject-verb
Example: One of the parents is angry.
Explanation: The subject is one, which is singular,
so the verb is singular is.
Point 2: The verb in an or, either/or, or neither/nor sentence
agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it.
Examples: Neither Mom nor Dad is available. Either he or she is
available to volunteer
Explanation: Both subjects are singular, so the verb is also
Example: Neither the serving bowl
nor the plates go on that shelf.
Explanation: The subject closest to the verb is plates
(plural), so the verb is plural.
Point 3: Use a
plural verb for two or more subjects when connected by “and.”
Example: A book “and” a pencil are all I need to study.
Exception: When “and” is a part of a compound nouns, use a
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Slowly, the British English spelling crept into American society and remained undetected or ignored. But no more. Don't get me wrong. I lived in Britain for four years, which was one of the happiest times in my life. However, using their spelling in our country is wrong. After all, we fought in the war to gain independence, so why are we letting the Briticism take over? It's an epidemic that is spreading far and wide, even impacting school newsletter that students read.
1st offender is the media, which uses the AP style that is acceptable for international news. It is the biggest culprit because people trust what they see on the news or the news channel. The truth is even they go back and forth without thinking about the impact they have on the audience.
2nd offender is the Internet. Everyone with a computer and access to the Internet can put up whatever they want. This is the era of "alternative facts" that makes my mental anguish unbearable. when you search up one thing, hundreds of different answers pop up, and 90% of them are opinions, not facts.
3rd biggest offender is my beloved self-published writers who published their books without having their books edited by professional editors. I've talked about this problem for years, so I digress.
My solution is simple and very elementary. But if enough people read this post, use the words themselves, and pass it on, it will result in change. It's a small impact and slow too, but it's a start. If you're American or writing for the American audience, don't use British English spelling. I will list some simple examples that I hope will be helpful. Please retweet and share this post. Let's take our language back!
American English British English
Some words are spelled airplane aeroplane
differently altogether. jail gaol
The "er" is reversed. center centre
Adding "u" for no reason. color colour
Past tenses with "t." burned burnt
Adding extra letters canceling cancelled, cancelling
traveled, traveling travelled, travelling
"ce" instead of "se" defense defence
"se" instead of "ze" organize organise
Double vowels "ae" or "oe" maneuver manoeuvre
Using y for i and e for a tire tyre
gray grey(50 Shades angers me because it was written about American
characters living in America. So,
why that spelling in the book title?
Should've hired an editor.)