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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wild Card, 2006. Winner of "best oral sex scene" - Scarlet Magazine. Amanda's Young Men, 2009. Excerpted in Scarlet Magazine; Juicy Bits. Sarah's Education, 2009. Hit the #1 spots on Amazon.co.uk adult fiction & adult romance best seller lists. Jade Magazine bestowed the best cover art, 2009 award on Sarah's Education. "Get Up, Stand Up!" which appeared in The Cougar Book (Logical-Lust) won me the title 'Story Teller of the Year 2011' at The Erotic Awards, London, UK. Sarah's Education took the #3 spot on a list of the 30 most titillating titles of all time, as reported in English Daily Mail ;Female; Nov. 12, 2012. Debutante, a petite novel for e-publisher Imprint Mischief, (Harper-Collins) pubbed in 2012. I tutor writing students and am a member of the WGC. D.M. Thomas said: Madeline Moore writes great sex without metaphor and that's not easy to do. Kris Saknussemm said: You're a good egg, Madeline Moore. I am a good egg who writes great sex without metaphor! Yippee!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Grammar Updates

Yikes. Over on Linked In I entered into a discussion on Grammar and was shamed by my two pet peeves, which turned out to be erroneous. So, fellow authors, I share with you my errors to save you from making the same ones in your work.

1) none: My understanding: none means 'not one.' It is, therefore, always singular. An example:

"None of the actresses' noses was real."

For this I was trounced. None, it turns out, means not only 'not one' but also 'not any.' Usage depends on which one makes a more pleasing sentence.
And so this sentence is grammatically correct.
"None of the actresses' noses were real."





I stand, trembling at the knees, corrected.

From the grammar goddess: Indefinite pronouns by definition reference nonspecific things or people. Most of these pronouns take a singular verb, some are always plural, and a few may be either singular or plural. Take a look at the lists below, and you'll notice that most indefinite pronouns are singular.

* Singular: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, many a, neither, no one, nobody, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone

* Plural: both, few, many, others, several

* Singular or Plural: all, any, none, some, such



2) they: My understanding: The word 'they' is plural.



"They sure look like they're having a lot of fun."

Again, I was trounced. It turns out that 'they' has been used, since Middle and Early Modern English times, in both plural and singular forms. In the Eighteenth Century, singular 'they' and 'he or she,' were replaced with 'he' in an attempt to stress male dominance.

From The Vocabula Review:
But even an Act of Parliament in 1850 England, which banned official use of the expression he or she in favor of generic he , didn't affect the spoken language (Bodine 173).

So this sentence is entirely correct:

"I can't tell from this picture if the person is male or female but they sure have a great body."



I am no longer able to stand corrected, but must sit. I must sit and ponder this: Shakespeare used 'they' as singular as well as plural. If he did it, I'll do it. At least, I'll give it a try.




Picture credits:
Jennifer Grey: plasticsurgerybeforeandafter.blogspot.com
Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf: listal.com
Scarlett Johanson: thehoesofhollywood.blogspot.com
gitls having fun: sucksorrules.com
androgymous person: sleevage.com
Shakespeare:shakespeare2006.net

4 comments:

Nikki Magennis said...

ace, madeline! more nude grammar tips please!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Well done! Getting intimate with the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster taught me again and again how so many of these things are unjustly stigmatized as sloppy usage (with television, e-mail, text messaging, etc., as the scapegoats), when in fact they have solid pedigrees.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for baring these errors, Madeline. Another blow against arrant pedantry, as Sir Winston called it.

Love,

Felix

kristinalloyd said...

Excellent!