I'd like to say a few words about grammar. I am sure you are relieved that it will only be a few. I understand that the only subject that would be more boring would involve mathematics.
People in the know say that, when submitting a manuscript, not to worry too much about the odd typographical error. It's going to happen. Certainly, submit the cleanest, most professional work you can, but what an agent or an editor is looking for is good writing and a compelling story.
Well. I believe that. I have to. Articles get left out. To gets typed for too, even though you know the difference. Yet, I have to think there are some things that are bound to make the professional in question hoot, slap a knee, and yell at everyone in the office to come and witness what the imbecile of the moment has written.
While reading (again) the manuscript that Plotter and I are polishing, I found where I had used the word couscous for conscious—twice—as in: She didn't wave as she drove away. Though he hadn't been couscous of it before now, she'd always waved when they parted, even if she was just leaving the room. He missed that wave.
Folks, we are talking Moroccan pasta here right in the middle of the black moment. That would have to be a scene killer. I know what happened. I'm not a great typist and I typed something that had a nodding acquaintance with conscious, clicked on the drop down list, and served myself up some couscous.
I want to throw up when I think that might have made it to someone's desk in New York City. I will go ahead and say I have been known to eat couscous. I like it with Velveeta. I wouldn't volunteer that information to anyone in New York City either—or maybe I just did. This is the World Wide Web.
Though this has nothing to do with couscous or conscious, I will now share with you one of my biggest grammatical error pet peeves. I suspect my motive for this is, after relating that embarrassing tidbit, to demonstrate that I am not illiterate.
Who and That
Who is a person. That is a thing.
Jack is the one who built the house. It was the house that Jack built.
What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever found in your manuscript? If you won't tell us that, tell us your grammatical pet peeve.