Literary pet peeves

Margaret Ball margaret at
Sun Feb 9 11:53:09 EST 2003

>Doesn't Mercedes Lackey overuse "damn" & italics a ton?

I haven't read her recent work either, but I do remember thinking, when 
I was reading her, that somebody should disable the underscore function 
in her word processing program. (Most editors that I've encountered 
still hold to conventions dating from the invention of the typewriter, 
so you have to underline words that you want them to italicize in print.)

I think my pet peeve is the Instantaneous Background Dump. "As you know, 
Stephen, you and Matilda have been at war over the crown of England 
these many years..."

My husband's is the point-of-view switch in mid-paragraph. I believe he 
still treasures a copy of a particularly crummy novel in which the 
author managed to switch point of view in mid-*sentence*.

And, of course, there's the Really Glaring Anachronism. He came home 
from a business trip once and woke me up at three AM to babble about the 
complete and utter awfulness of a best-selling historical novel he had 
bought to read on the plane. I forgave him when he pointed out that it 
was set in ancient Greece and that in the middle of the book the 
characters refer to a *blueprint* of some building. (And no, it was not 
a time-travel novel. It was a Serious Historical Novel that has gathered 
many good reviews and is recommended reading at West Point to help the 
students understand classical warfare. Go figure.)

Margaret Ball

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