There’s nothing like a dose of ambivalence to add unwelcome melodrama to your life. Allow me to introduce Grammar Nazi. She takes up space in my head, and like any good nazi she’s always looking to expand her territory. I think I remember her from sixth grade.
No way am I a grammar nazi. I think any writer who finishes a novel, no matter how flawed, deserves some respect.
Who am I to criticize?
Your sole mission in life should be to point them out and humiliate them.
Experience has made me what I am: a reader so bothered by grammatical errors that they sometimes spoil my enjoyment of a book.
While teaching writing at a university I marked thousands of comma splices, run-on sentences, clumsy sentence fragments, comma errors, apostrophe errors, etc. I learned that small mistakes matter less than creativity and thoughtful argument.
Thank you for stating the obvious. Good writers know how to break the rules because they have mastered them. We are speaking of people who cannot even punctuate the vocative case correctly. They ought to go back to grade school.
Here’s the thing: correctness doesn’t always result in effective writing, but mistakes often prevent writing from being effective.
Oh, they notice. The mistakes are a major reason why many readers ignore indie books and why critics argue that the self-publishing revolution has flooded the market with garbage. You, Mary Maddox, are an indie writer. Join the procession to the virtual landfill.
As a reviewer I dislike downgrading an otherwise good book because of rampant grammatical mistakes, but to overlook them would be a disservice to the author and potential readers. I guess the key is to balance faults with virtues and remember that everyone makes mistakes, including me.
You made a mistake? Where? Where? Find it at once. You will be the object of universal derision. You must scour every page of the manuscript for errors that have escaped your scrutiny. Take all night if need be. I stand at your back with my whip.