Category Archives: Grammar

See Above

Okay, it’s time for me to share my pet peeves with you, take notes because I read a lot of books, and once I’m annoyed your book no longer means anything to me.

  1. The most annoying thing that I have ever seen in a book (yes, more annoying than typos), is when authors use the ‘above’. “See the above photo” or “as mentioned above”, while there is nothing inherently wrong with those statements in and of themselves, there is when the above mentioned photos or statements AREN’T above, but actually 6 pages back. Yes, when we write a book everything is above to us, but when the book is printed it simply isn’t one long document anymore (well, maybe on Kindle). There are pages, and unless you are 100% sure that what you are referring to is going to be printed on the same page, you need to use a different phrase. “Previously mentioned,” “Photo 1A,” “the photo on page 86,” “see chapter 2” there are just tons of things that you can put that do not misuse the preposition above. Because I’m pretty sure that all of us learned in our toddler years that above does not equal previous, it is in fact in the upward direction in relation to another object.
  2. Typos. Yes, typos annoy me. Not in blogs, or even so much in self-published books. But if I get a book from a traditional publisher and it spells the word do with only a ‘d’ (true story) I will never get over it. If your book is published traditionally, it has to go through like 3 different editors, somebody really ought to catch something as serious as that!
  3. Alright, the two mentioned above (note the correct usage of above) are really the biggest two. However, if you are writing Christian non-fiction, it’s key to use a reliable translation. I don’t want to spend the entire book looking up the Scriptures you used because you used a paraphrase instead of an actual translation. I don’t care if the Message uses your favorite wording, I want to know what God actually said, not what one man thinks God meant. There is a time and a place for that, and it isn’t in non-fiction books where you are trying to support your theory.

I’m sure that there are more, however those are the main ones. What about you? Do you have any pet peeves that we should avoid in our writing? Please help us out and share!

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Best-seller, best seller, or bestseller?

I recently took part in a book launch to help out another author, and I learned SOOO much! I am in the midst of planning the book launch for my next book (expected to be released in March 2012) and I had no idea how much work was put into a book launch. I defiantly will be better equipped to plan my own! Besides learning the ins and outs of a successful book launch, I learned a little grammar along the way. The book I was helping with (Forgiveness Formula by CJ and Shelly Hitz) became an Amazon best-seller in one of its categories before the day was half over, and remained number one for almost a week. Which led to the debate of best-seller, best seller, or bestseller?

It took a bit of research to find out the correct way to write it, and all three of the above are widely used and accepted. Amazon has its “Best Seller” lists, I read several press releases announcing other ‘bestselling’ titles, yet grammar sites all say that the correct version is actually ‘best-seller’ as the word ‘best’ is modifying ‘selling’ not describing it. (source)

However the reasoning for needing the hyphen is a bit debatable. If the book is a best-seller, would it not also be the best in its category? So both ways would technically be correct. And furthermore, every dictionary site that I have used that includes best-seller, also lists bestseller under the same definition, and when I was growing up words only qualified as words if they were in the dictionary, and since they both are…

What do you think? Best-seller, bestseller, or best seller?

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