Rowling and elitists

minnow at minnow at
Fri Oct 31 15:57:50 EST 2003

Robyn enjoyed a quick and lethal commentary on someone's style, as provided
for us by Melissa, and the rest of us enjoyed her enjoyment.

>>"That I don't hold against her (though she leans over and grabs hold of
>>the wheel too many times).
>Comma missing after "That".

Wouldn't it be better style to avoid both the comma and the brackets?  What
would be wrong with "I don't hold that against her, though she leans over
and grabs the wheel too many times."?  Not that I quite see how he makes
out that Rowling is grabbing the reader's wheel, because I thought his
complaint (insofar as I understood it) was that the books were too slow on
account of being too adjectival and so *didn't* grab the reader.  Come to
that, aren't the interstates meant to be fairly fast roads?  Whatever he
meant, though, if he had to pick an unwieldy metaphor to begin with he
might at least phrase the wretched thing clearly.

The rules state that anyone trying to point out grammatical or stylistic
errors in someone else's prose will commit at least one howler him or
herself; no doubt one of my sentences above, or this one, sucks just as
much as Professor Wossit's do.


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