Friday, January 08, 2010

Queery me at your peril

In today's queries there were these: queery for query; advise for advice; sure best seller for unreadable sludge.

well, two of those pairings at least.

Words matter. Every SINGLE word matters.
If you don't know you're (not your) making a mistake, I do.
I may not catch 'em all, but eye ketch maoist.

For more on the subject:
The Rejectionist.

32 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

It's plane two sea that to man knee people really own there spill checker rather then tying too reed the peace themselves.

At least it freeze up your thyme four those who cane right write.

(I think that hurt my brain.)

Livia said...

Could we queery you for gay and lesbian fiction?

Ruth said...

I HATE "your" instead of "you're". I work at a government department, and SO MUCH of our in-house correspondence is filled with basic, basic errors.

Even worse, one of our official forms that we send out to the public has "who's" instead of "whose" on it... I want to shrivel up in embarrassment every time I see that section of the form.

Not that that's exactly relevant to publishing, but I just wish people would just learn to use basic spelling and grammar. It's embarrassing to get it wrong - especially, I imagine, if you're working in publishing or the government. *sigh*

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Crap, now I'm petrified of clicking on the Publish Your Comments button. Oh well, I'm confident everything is spelled rite.

I followed the comments on that post throughout the day. Very funny, although, "sure best seller for unreadable sludge", made me laugh out loud. Not easy to do, believe me.

Eric said...

I like ketchup on Maoists also.

Laurel said...

Proofreeding is for panseys. Trust your voyce.

Kyler said...

I had a request for a full manuscript from an agent who, in the same brief email request, confused the words "may" and "can" - twice! I was a little suspect, but I sent the ms anyway. Now it's about 8 months later, and after repeated follow-ups, he hasn't responded at all. He recently sold a story collection, it said on PM. With his understanding of manners and the English language, I wonder how he may do this.

MaureenHume said...

Oh, you poor woman how do you get through the day having to deal with such basic mistakes.
Laugh...yell..laugh..yell???

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

what if typos are a way of life for me? I'm doomed! or is that duumed? or domeied? oh heck, where is spell check when you kneed it?

Janet Reid said...

Sha'el, these aren't typos. I overlook typos as one of those cost of doing business things. These words are spelled "write"; they're the wrong word.

Doom postponed.

Regards to Bill!

Furious D said...

Maybe that's why my query letter:

ME RITE GUD! PUPLICH ME!

Isn't catching on.

;)

Deep River said...

Apostrophe abuse makes me cringe, especially when used to "decorate" plural nouns.

Yvonne said...

Great post. I see your for you're ALL the time. Also, than for then and their for there. So many people sadly do not know the difference and don't even know that they don't know.
It's nice to know someone still does.
(oh, and the agent who asked me for more pages but addressed me as Evonne and said I had "peeked" his interest.)
This is a true story.

Travener said...

It's a sign of the Pox Eclipse!

Krista G. said...

My grammar pet peeve: using everyday when they mean every day. And it's every where - er, everywhere...

Joelle said...

I get all riled up over "a lot" as alot. What's so amazing is even this comment box underlines alot as wrong, and yet people post it everywhere. I actually saw it in a book last night, but I'm hoping it was just a typo, as opposed to an actual mistake by the author. Apparently, according to many indie bookstore websites, "lovely stationary" is all the rage. I guess you must write your letters standing still.

Rebecca Knight said...

The your/you're, there/they're/their mix ups make my skin crawl.

Here's a e-whiskey to help you cope!

___
\ /
-

annerallen said...

Love it, Travener! I hear the Pox Eclipse is the new Van Pyres.

Maryann Miller said...

LOL, some of the comments are as funny as the original post. Always fun to visit this blog.

Robert Kent, of Robertkent.net fame said...

It does seem silly that someone would take the time to write a novel, but not proofread a letter. On the other hand, there are many brilliant writers who are also pour spelors. You never know. You could be overlooking some diamonds in the ruff. Or they may just be unprofessional klutzes.

valbrussell said...

I just received an lovely letter of rejection from the editor of a publishing house and apparently they prefer projects that are appropriate 'to' their publishing focus. I assume the word 'for' isn't part of their publishing focus either.

Linda Rader said...

You gave me a laugh. I like reading your blog. You sound like a interesting and fun person to know.

Wilhem Spihntingle said...

@Joelle, Now I am even more confused.

a lot
adverb
to a very great degree or extent; "I feel a lot better"; "we enjoyed ourselves very much"; "she was very much interested"; "this would help a great deal"

alot- No dictionary results

_*Rachel*_ said...

Eyed like two ketch a maoist, to, butt eye'm nut sure teh maoist wood like what eyed dew.

Repent, all GRAMMAR NAZI'S!

Kim Kasch said...

Ooo eye'm sorry u had 2 wayd threw thoos bad queeries but eye promiss meyen will b much gooder than mohst

Jay said...

Form rejection. That should read: Queery me at you're peril. You're slipping, Janet.

Malia Sutton said...

I'll bet they all have their own facebook fan clubs, too.

Oy!

Josin L. McQuein said...

"Alot" is not a word, therefore it has no definition. Alot gets misused a lot.

dylan said...

Dear Ms. Reid,

Am I the only one who thinks your 'Queries Vetted' merit badge looks like John Houseman peering through a 'Frederick's Of Hollywood' monocle?

Or an irked owl?

Either way, very withering expression, that.

Makes me nervous.

dylan

laughingwolf said...

also: pour over, for pore over GRRRR

Kristi said...

Tee hee! Thanks for the laugh!

Jaycee Adams said...

Like I used to always say...

If reeding you're techs t'is all-most tore-chore fore pea-pull, pleas bee shore two ewes thee rye-towards too right hear inn thee four-umms; its aweigh too lettuce no ewer knot uh more-ron. It snot sew vary harred two due atoll. Thing-queue.