Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pretty but vapid

That's least on the end of town I'm staying in.  Lots of hills thick with trees.  A downtown that Buffalo puts to shame.  Huge numbers of empty retail buildings and those big, blank, hideous parking lots in front of stores that make you walk as much as a quarter mile to get inside.  And mosquitoes.  Ah...the South.  How I've never missed it.

My plane ride was the bumpiest I've had in some time, but I got a seat between me and the aisle-guy on the Baltimore-Birmingham leg, so I worked on my red pen version of LD and got it done.  Now I just need to input the changes.

I brought a copy of a crime anthology with me to read, full of crime writers from Northern Ireland.  Should be interesting...and I can see how they write about life in the NI.

Now to focus on something that shocked me -- just how archaic my grammar is.  I bought a copy of Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" and after reading the just first few pages, I can see where the approach to American grammar has changed.  I was taught to NEVER put a comma before "and" when it's used as a conjunction -- as in "Tom, Dick and Harry."'s now acceptable practice to do it like this -- "Tom, Dick, and Harry."  Which does not even begin to look right to me.

Another one -- when words like Charles and Burns become possessive; I was taught to just add an apostrophe at the end, like this -- Charles' and Burns'.  Strunk and White says you still add an "S" after them...but NOT if there are two "S's" already at the end of the word, like with a phrase such as "for righteousness' sake."

Damn, and I thought I was so good and up to date.  Guess it's never to late to learn a new method, is it?

But they STILL do not look right, to me.

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