Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night and My Own Give Away

Tonight is World Book Night and I’m delighted to say that once again I’m taking part. This year I am giving away the excellent Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham. This book is one of my personal favourites and I included it in my selections when my editor asked me for my own Top Ten.

Last year I gave away copies of Killing Floor by Lee Child and so far every book I’ve given away has been gratefully received. 

I’ve already shared out about a dozen books with colleagues at work and I plan to take the others over and offer them to the guests of the hotel I manage.

Last year I was fortunate enough to be granted an interview with Lee Child and when I questioned him about World Book Night he said he was honoured to have been included. I hope to interview Mark Billingham later this year and I will of course be asking him about WBN! 

In-keeping with World Book Night I have enrolled one of my ebooks into KDP Select and it will be FREE all day Friday the 27th of April. So do me a favour and spread the word while grabbing yourself a free copy.

Please feel free to use the comments section to share what you are doing for WBN with me and my reader.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Hypocritical Rant about Falling Grammar Standards

OK folks I’ve bit my tongue long enough, but now I’m going to have to raise the issue of modern day grammar. Or more correctly the falling standards of grammar. 

Firstly let me say that I speak with absolutely no authority on the subject as I TWICE failed my English exams at school. Although the school were kind enough to appeal on my behalf and I got a nice letter telling me that I’d been granted my ‘O’ level English.  

I’m also as guilty as the next person with regards to typos. In my mind these are forgivable. What is not forgivable are the fuckups where there is written instead of their or even they’re. Come on, for fucks sake. They mean three totally different things.

My own failings have over time weighed upon me and have turned me into a grammar demon. I work hard to get things right for others when writing and I expect the same courtesy back. 

In my professional life I frequently get E-mails and Facebook messages which look as if a child of two has been bouncing a ball on a keyboard before accidentally hitting send. One Facebook message had nineteen (YES 19!) grammar mistakes in a four line paragraph. The content was based on sensible questions so the writer was obviously in possession of some functioning intelligence. Nineteen mistakes were there though!  

Being the calm and reasonable person that I am, I spent twenty minutes decrying falling education standards and then went for a smoke before replying. This muppet had just wasted half an hour of my precious time just because they either couldn’t write properly or didn’t care enough to make a tiny effort. 

Little shortcuts like writing U instead of you I can almost tolerate because of text speak which is a whole new lazy language. American English with its different spelling of certain words gets automatically translated without any internal ire, but show me repeated incidents of some fuckwit getting were, where and we’re all mixed up and I get so wound up my teeth start to itch.

As for the great apostrophe debate don’t get me started… 

Please comment below on what annoys you about other peoples’ grammar.