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Explanatory articles covering myriad intrinsic details such as these related to writing are included in my self-help volume, Write It Right – Tips For Authors – The Big Book. The Amazon URL: https://tinyurl.com/yanfjdeh

The Letter S

Drop the letter s. If you believe that one letter couldn’t possibly cause you to receive a rejection, I encourage you to think again, especially if the same mistake recurs throughout your manuscript.

Incorrect usage comes from the lax attitude about our English language. Most people speak in jargon or a brogue that comes from a certain locale. I call it family hand-me-down language.  Truth is, no matter from where you hail, your written grammar must be correct for the broader reading audience.

I’m speaking of the letter s. Check out these sentences:

She ran towards the garage.

The ball rolled backwards.

Look upwards.

These sentences are all incorrect. That is, the use of the letter s is incorrect.

The letter s denotes something plural. In the first sentence, moving toward something means you can only go in one direction. Toward.

If the ball rolled backward, it can only go in one direction. Backward.

To look upward, you can only look in one direction. Upward.

Not surprising, an example of an exception is:

She leaned sideways.

The rule here is that when leaning, you can lean sideways in more than one direction, therefore the use of the letter s.

You’ll find many other words that are incorrectly used with s endings. When you find these, make note of them, maybe a running list. You’ll have the list to refer back to when you question your own writing.

This is but one of the finite idiosyncrasies of producing better grammar when writing stories and books that you hope to sell. Study your own language and speech.

Watch how the s is used or omitted in books that you love to read.

Get into the habit of listening to the speech patterns of others. Think critically of what you hear, but never criticize of a person who speaks that way. Instead, mentally analyze what you have heard. Learn the right from the wrong of speech and your writing will reflect your knowledge.

Those S and ES Endings

These endings have always troubled me until I finally decided to get it right. Compare the versions and pick out the correct usages in this name ending with the letter s.

The Joneses came for dinner.

The Jones’s came for dinner.

The Jones came for dinner.

 

John Joneses car stalled.

John Jones car stalled.

John Jones’s car stalled.

 

That Jones’s girl.

That Joneses girl.

That Jones girl.

 

The correct sentences are:

 

The Joneses came for dinner.

John Jones’s car stalled.

That Jones girl.

Some tips:

When a name ends with an s, and when speaking of the family as a group, add es, as in Joneses.

When speaking about something John Jones owned, it is his property and, therefore, an apostrophe and s shows ownership, as in Jones’s.

When speaking about a person in the singular, use only the name Jones.

However, when speaking about a group of girls all named Jones, you would write that sentence: The Jones girls. Notice that the name stays the same but the s is added to the word girl, stating more than one exists with that name.

MY BIO

Mary Deal is an award-winning author of suspense/thrillers, a short story collection, writers’ references, and self-help. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Artist and Photographer, and former newspaper columnist and magazine editor. She is currently writing the third story in her Sara Mason Mystery Series, and a romance novel is now being published, which is a new genre for her. Other books coming soon will include her first poetry book and a second collection of more of her short stories.

She has traveled a great deal and has a lifetime of diverse experiences, all of which remain in memory as fodder for her fiction. A native of California’s Sacramento River Delta, where some of her stories are set, she has also lived in England, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is also an oil painter and photographer. Her art is used to create gorgeous personal and household products from her online galleries.

Find Her Online

Her Website: https://www.marydeal.com

Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/3z8pm31

Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/o7keqf7

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/mdeal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mary_Deal

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marydeal

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105175192934570097998

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MaryDeal

Her Art Galleries

Mary Deal Fine Art: https://www.marydealfineart.com

Island Image Gallery: https://www.islandimagegallery.com

Mary Deal Fine Art and Photography: https://www.facebook.com/MDealArt

LocalMe: https://www.redbubble.com/people/localme

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/1deal

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~Mary Deal~

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