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Wednesday, July 6, 2011



To my readers; I know my spelling and punctuation is not up to par.  My editor, sister-in-law Judy, is not responsible.  She edited my book “Maybe It’s Just Me!” and my not-yet-released “I Used to Be Stupid,” but the blogs go out without benefit of her expertise. 
Judy learned grammar, spelling and punctuation from an old fashioned school marm, Miss Mundt, who also taught Judy’s Dad.  Miss Mundt must have been a great teacher because Judy got an 800 on her Verbal SATs. 

Two years ago I sent Judy some of my writing to get her opinion on content.  She said she liked what I had to say, but she could not contain her red pen and her inner Miss Mundt.  What she returned to me looked like a Jackson Pollock painting, red being the predominant color.  She has been my editor ever since.

I still do not know when to use a comma and when to use a semi-colon.  I never know when to start a new paragraph, and I just guess when it comes to using quotation marks.  My spelling is horrible and even spell-check does not always catch my goofs.  My editor takes care of all this stuff and this allows me to just concentrate on what I write.
The following is just a small sampling of my edited goofs, and Judy’s corrections often with what I suspect are Miss Mundt like comments. 

Thamks Judy, your a realy big helf!!           

Know body                             nobody

PC’s                                         don’t need the apostrophe for plurals

Parent’s                                  parents’ (2 parents thus the apostrophe    after the s)

Generations passed               past

, god                                                   God (I missed this 100 times)

Structure less                         structure^less

Slide stepped                         side stepped

Yea,                                         Yeah (I missed this about 100 times)

It was 5 foot wide                  that should be feet – plural.

Jumped of the building         off

Wait till                                  ‘til (missed this about 100 times)

Do as your told                      you’re

Shit”.                                                .” the period goes inside the quotation mark

Baloney                                  Bologna (like in the Oscar Meyer ad!)

                                                (Boloney is in the dictionary and acceptable,

but since the origin of the sandwich meat is Bologna, Italy,        I defer to Judy.)

Worrying over                      Worrying about


                                                FREAKING and it’s a question??

Off peak                                  Off-peak

In to                                        In^to

Two pastimes                         passtimes (ha, finally, I’m right on this one.   Check the dictionary!)

Hear’s to your health          Here’s (duh)

Hooked up to the apt. antenna

                                               It was hooked up (need to do that or else YOU are hooked up!)

Declaired                              declared

Where ever                            where^ever

He smelt smoke                     smelled

The car was cheep                 Huh? Are you a bird? How about cheap??

When done being…               finished (“done” is for the Thanksgiving turkey)

Give me a brake                    break

The car’s breaks                     brakes (Sheesh)

Mid-evil plow                         medieval

Three isles away                    aisles it’s a store, not an ocean!

34 and windy                         Thirty-four…at the beginning of a sentence write it out!  (Yes Miss Mundt)

Damn its great                       it’s (means it is)

Sometimes the editor shows signs of exasperation:

Either capitalize it or don’t, but be consistent!

Periods and commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks!!

Yes Miss Mundt!

For more (fully edited) stuff buy "Maybe It's Just Me!" or Amazon
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  1. Hmmmm Joe

    You have really got me stumped on this one, because American English is so different to English English, and I look at some of this and say "no way Jose!"

    Take the quotation marks marks for instance. The periods and commas surely only go insode the quotation marks if they relate to what is being said inside of them also?

    I was taught that is OK to write numbers as numbers, as long as you only write them as numbers. What is not acceptable is to write.
    "34 hours and twenty-seven minutes later"

    Also - check 'smelt' out in a dictionary. It has many meanings, one of which is:

    smelt (verb) - a simple past tense and past participle os smell.

    So you can keep using that one because either smelt or smelled is correct.

    And the point made about being 'hooked up' depends entirely on the context in which you are writing, and there are times when it is OK to simply write 'hooked up' without the 'it was'. For example

    "I hooked up the TV to the apt. antenna"

    This remiinds me of an incident with my younger sister, who has lived in Mass for the last 12 years. She is a Teaching Assistant, and speaks very well (as we say over here in the UK). ANyway on one occassion my parents were over, visiting my sister and they went to some sort of open event at the school where she works. The teacher that my sister helps was talking to my parents, and singing my sisters praises but then she turned to my Mum and said "the only problem is, sometimes her use of English is a little questionable" my Mum being the proud English woman that she is said "what do you mean exactly?" to which the teacher replied "well she will insist on using the word 'whilst' and to be honest, we all know that is just a made up word and doesn't really exist!"
    My Mum was quite taken aback and looked at the teacher square in the face and said "actually 'whilst' is an extremely old English word and my daughter is quite correct to use it - but then you would know that if you actually spoke English as English"

    Needless to say, the teacher beat a hasty retreat from my Mum and hasn't criticised my sister's spoken English since.

    Have a great day Joe and keep doing it the way you are - you are fantastic read without the editing.

    Lou :-)

  2. Thx Lou, but I don't argue with Judy or Miss Mundt!


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