I need an editor

Hi.  I’m a dumbass.

I have a degree in Journalism (seriously) and yet I cannot use apostrophes.  In fact, the very reason I’m not actually a Journalist right now is that AP Style was created to destroy me. 

Me:  The client plead guilty.

My editor:  Incorrect. The client pleaded guilty.

Me:  Tonight I will set fire to your car.

Some people think it’s kinda hypocritical that so many of my posts deal with me crucifying people for not double-spacing, ninja punctuation and grammatical homicide when I can’t even tell the difference between “heroine” and “heroin” but here’s the deal:  I get a pass.  I get a pass because I write in Bloggess-Style which is largely characterized by writing under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  Bloggess-style is less about “rules” and more about how it sounds in my head and what I’m drinking at the moment.  For instance, whereas the AP style of this story might like this:

“A report of a ninja sighting in the woods near the Robert L. Horbelt elementary School prompted a brief lockdown of the township’s public schools”

Bloggess-style would sound more like:

MOTHERFUCKER, y’all!  There’s no recess today because someone saw a. fucking. ninja.   Seriously?!  Is this what we’ve come to, people?  Because if a teacher told me no recess because of a because of a ninja sighting I’d be like “How good of a ninja could he be if someone saw him running out in the woods?  Answer:  Not a very effective one.  Now open the damn door and let’s play some motherfucking kickball, beeyotch.”

It’s not exactly well-written and is missing some verbs and has punctuation marks wildly sprinkled in like glitter but it gets the damn point across.  That’s why every post of mine is marked by people telling me I spelled something wrong (which is awesome because, hello, I need help) and the commenter is pretty much always right except for the comment I got this week on my “screaming into noseholes because people are not using the double-space after a period anymore” post which was totally insane.

Here is the comment:

And do you know who I hate so much I just want to stab them in the face and then peel off all their face skin and scream into their open nose holes about how much I hate them? (Actually, I don’t hate them that much, but it was such a good opening sentence.) It’s those who can’t use “however” correctly. Oh look, Jenny can’t! 🙂 ~Angie 

So I brought in my coworker and was all “You know how I kind of suck at punctuation?” and she’s like “Yeah.”  and I’m all “You’re an asshole!” but I only said that last part in my head because I needed her opinion.  So I showed her the quote and she agreed with Angie and said that “however” used in that form always needs a comma after it.  And I explained that when I said the sentence there would be no pause in it so the comma would fuck up my sentence flow.  It’s supposed to be like “DH Lawrence once said if you have nothing to say then be still, (big pause here like it’s the end of the sentence but then it’s like HA!  I fooled you!  The sentence is still going!  I’m like Houdini) howeverIhavealwaysfoundthat….”   And my coworker nodded, humoring me, and told me it was still wrong.  But then I found this:

The use of however as a conjunction meaning “although” is identical to its use as a clause-initial adverb meaning “nevertheless“, except in punctuation (when written) and in prosody (when spoken). Hence, the following proscribed sentence:

(proscribed) He told me not to do it, however I did it.

is equivalent to the following accepted one:

(accepted) He told me not to do it; however, I did it.

Bingo.  Thank you, Wikipedia: The most reliably accurate source on earth. 

Anyway, my point is that you can find pretty much any style to back up the way you write.  And if you can’t, just put a footnote in there and call it Bloggess-style.  Unless you’re saying “But I thought she been done did that“.  Then you are dead to me.

Comment of the Day: Uh, I’m confused. Are you saying that the proscribed sentence validates your writing style? cause that doesn’t really help you. proscribed isn’t a good thing.  And now I can be one of those commenters that points out your mistakes.  Unless I’m just high and don’t understand anything you wrote. Then I just suck ~ktjrdn

And my response to the Comment of the Day: That depends. What does “proscribed” mean? I’m assuming it means “kick-ass”. If, in fact, it means “forbidden and assy” then I’m going to say that it still counts because it says the proscribed one is “equivalent” to the accepted one and so in a roundabout way I’m still totally right.

Totally. right.

Proscribed. (Kick-ass.)

107 thoughts on “I need an editor

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Bloggess-style. You cannot escape it.

    PS. It doesn’t have to be in the urban dictionary but I would like it to be made into a song written to the tune of “Hammer-Time”.

  2. no, “vagina” is my default Bloggess comment when I can’t think of anything relevant to add. you know, it’s Bloggess thing.


    always, buddy’s last blog post..quote

  3. Actually, tell your editor to kiss it, because both plead (pled) and pleaded are right. I know this because dictionary.com is my friend. And lets face it….dictionary.com is the bomb-diggity. And I am the bomb-diggity because I still use two spaces after a period.

    And I think Angie is threatening you–should you notify the cops???? The comma, thing, is, way, overdone,.

    Heather’s last blog post..To My Husband: I Forgive You

  4. uh, I’m confused. Are you saying that the proscribed sentence validates your writing style? cause that doesn’t really help you. proscribed isn’t a good thing.

    And now I can be one of those commenters that points out your mistakes.

    Unless I’m just high and don’t understand anything you wrote. Then I just suck

    ktjrdn’s last blog post..I’m rich (er)

  5. That depends. What does “proscribed” mean? I’m assuming it means “kick-ass”. If, in fact, it means “forbidden and assy” then I’m going to say that it still counts because it says the proscribed one is “equivalent” to the accepted one and so in a roundabout way I’m still totally right.

    Totally. right.

    Proscribed. (Kick-ass.)

  6. i totally am ok with ,however and ;however, and bloggess style is great. can i call all my punctuation and grammar mistakes bloggess style too? i’m pretty sure natalie style wouldn’t hold quite as much weight with people.

    natalie’s last blog post..Food Review 3

  7. The appeal of blogs over books is that they sound more like conversation than prose.

    If you’d pause when speaking that sentence, put in a comma. Otherwise, don’t. Punctuation is crucial to convey the true meaning and rhythm of your voice, which is different for every person. Like the difference between OMG (Valley Girl) and Oh. My. God. (Holy Shit)

    Personally, I love commas; can’t get enough of em. You can’t construct a proper, 80-word, run-on sentence without them. And if there were a punctuation mark to convey all the little half started, not fully formed thoughts that I usually utter out loud, and that drive my man crazy, I’d be all over that too.

    Wendy’s last blog post..Fireworks Cake Toppers

  8. Punctuation i’s highly overrated, And AP ‘style wa’s created by editor’s in a feeble attempt to give them’selve’s job ‘security;

  9. It’s your blog, you can fly how you want to.=)

    Personally, I’m not into grammar & punctuation Nazi’s hittin’ up my blog.

    I’d rather read a personal blog written as if they were talking, oops, I mean talkin’ to me.

  10. I feel SO MUCH better now…I must be writing in “Bloggess style” quite often (AKA under the influence of drugs and alcohol.) I’ll write something late at night to be published in the morning; I’ll read it the next morning, and be like–WTF? “Oh well, it must be grammatically correct to SOMEONE.

    Christy’s last blog post..To Confront Or Not To Confront

  11. Seriously, who the fuck cares? It’s punctuation, spacing, whatever. Do you get your point across? YES. ‘Nuff said.

    Cara’s last blog post..Baby Steps

  12. I wrote a treatise on common grammatical errors to go with each of our 26 letters… and then a certain Mindee pointed out that if I was going to pontificate about grammar, I should really check for typos like, “Xanax is capitalized, are are all proper nouns.” Haaaaaaaa. But then I EDITED without noting “Updated,” so that showed HER. Right? RIGHT??

    ali’s last blog post..I mean, if it was good enough for Frederick Law Olmstead…

  13. Ick. That noseholes comment made my stomach hurt.

    I’m a writer, and my grammar can blow sometimes. But mostly when I write for a long time I start to get bored with myself and misspell things on purpose or because I’m lazy.

    But I can NOT get behind the two spaces after a period thing. It drives me INSANE when people do that. Two spaces when you are typing something up on a typewriter is OK, but not when you are WORD PROCESSING on a computer or word processor. You don’t need it. Nope.

    tela’s last blog post..The Summer List

  14. So I used to be a copy editor. And I have a journalism degree. And one of the reasons I’m not a copy editor or a working journalist is because I have completely insane, idiosyncratic (but totally CORRECT, mind you) ideas about grammar and punctuation. Mostly about commas.

    But. There’s only one space after a period. I’m sorry. So sorry. But that’s just how I feel. (CORRECTly feel, mind you.)

    Stimey’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: A Game of Catch

  15. If it follows the style guide it is prose and boring.

    If it don’t it’s poetry and interesting.

    (S’long as I can parse it)

    Nuf said.

  16. I like this little guy ~ What’s he called? Tilde I think ~ Whatever ~ He’s cute and swirly like ~ And much more fun than commas ~ hyphens ~ bullets and asterisks ~ And yet I have no idea he’s supposed to do ~

    Becky Mochaface’s last blog post..My list – 42 out of 100

  17. O JTB! remove the “beeyotch” off that sentence and end it with “motherfucker”. It was the perfect sentence of all time until you turned it into a stupid mommyblogger cliche.

    Black Hockey Jesus’s last blog post..Blog Consciousness

  18. I don’t think I could pull of Bloggess style (although I would totally drop a footnote to you if I tried), but I might be able to claim a good drug/alcohol addiction. Maybe that could explain why I so often type their when I mean they’re and vice versa. Ack.

    And, one more time, BLOGGER hijacks my double spaces. I know there are supposed to be double spaces after periods. I lay (lie? lain? laid?) awake at night tortured by the reformatting of my space know how.

    anymommy’s last blog post..Tales of My Traveling Past – Elephant Trekking

  19. Somebody is going to make a mint when they perfect a “Grammar Check” that works as easily as spell check. I keep waiting. And yes, I used to write press releases for a living. I still manage to fuck up grammar on my blog on a regular basis. Why is that? Oh yeah, like you said … maybe it’s the drugs and alcohol?

    Twenty Four At Heart’s last blog post..The Hellish Road To Hana, Part 2

  20. I used to could write and punkshuate and stuff and then I had them beast chillens and all them smart cells flowed out in the placenta, and those that didn’t, well they went out in the breastmilk.
    So there 🙂

    Personally, Bloggess-Style is waaaay more interesting to read than proper AP style.

    *Yes, I know how to spell. Yes, that was all on purpose. It’s kinda like Texas Speak Y’all. *snort*

    rachel’s last blog post..When Daddy Puts Monkey Down

  21. I’m sorry, I’m going to need a few sock puppets to explain this post to me. Thank’s. (oh, how could I resist?)

    Marinka’s last blog post..To Do List

  22. Bloggess style is more entertaining. Seriously. My major was English and I use ellipsis’s incorrectly ALL THE TIME (amongst other grievous grammar sins).

    What really grates on me is when peeps says ANYWAYS instead of ANYWAY. There is no S on anyway people! That is a hold over from my High School Nazi English Teacher days.


    Polka Dot Mommy’s last blog post..Things I Love- Stretch Island Fruit Co.

  23. I totally overuse words like “totally” and I’m a big fan of the m-dash — you know, the super long one that you have to use two dashes for to appropriately mimic when commenting on blogs — but most important, I always put two spaces after a period. I’m old. I learned to type on a manual typewriter. When some snotty college kid can press the “a” key on a manual typewriter with his pinky finger hard enough to make an impression on a piece of paper, then he/she can correct my fucking grammar and spacing.

    Go, Bloggess-Style, baby!!

    Deb (Missives From Suburbia)’s last blog post..Comcast Is Not Dead To Me… Yet

  24. This is the honest-to-god truth. My thesis advisor knew the difference between a hyphen, a dash and a negative sign and MADE ME CHANGE STUFF IN MY THESIS EVEN THOUGH NO ONE ELSE COULD TELL OR GAVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT IT. Thank you.

    Alice’s last blog post..Matatu Love

  25. Hi. I’m a dumbass.

    And I’m a PC.

    I write in Bloggess-Style which is largely characterized by writing under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

    I hear the Legislature over in Bhumphuckt, Egypt is going to create a new class of crime: Bloggessing While Intoxicated (BWI), also known as Bloggessing Under the Influence (BUI). It is supposed to be a very serious crime – sort of like, using, too, many, commas, in a, sentence.
    I hear the penalty is up to a year in Mindy Sterba’s shoes.


    Ed T.’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: More Flower

  26. BTW, I thought I read a comment by someone else who asked if you were any relation to that snarky chick in the Sonic commercial. So I happened to catch one of those commercials on the TV last light and zOMG YOU AND SHE LOOK LIKE YOU ARE CLONES OF EACH OTHER!

    So, should we be calling you “Jeeny, the Bloogess”?


    Ed T.’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: More Flower

  27. If I had a nickel for everytime someone said that Victor and I were were just like the couple in the Sonic commercial I’d have…probably 60 cents. I told Victor and he was like “That guy?! I could kick that guys ass!” like it was some sort of challenge. I’m all “Uh. They just mean you’re kinda funny” and he’s like “DEATH MATCH! I could kill the sonic guy with my pinkie ring!” and I’m all “You don’t even have a pinkie ring” and then he walked away but really smugly like he’d proven his point. Whatever it was.

  28. Fellow journalism degree holder here. Fellow grammar idiot. The profession just doesn’t pay enough to be THAT uptight about proper grammatical usage. If you want me to be that precise about the rules, pay me like a surgeon. Otherwise, just edit my shit and shut up about it.

    qt’s last blog post..Protected: Wednesday Obsessions: Would You Rather?

  29. My current hell consists of figuring out how the hell to keep up with Turabian style for one of my history courses this summer. I just got a paper back with so many marks on it that I could barely read my own text. That being said, she proceeded to pass out a worksheet on what not to do in the future. Some of the examples include: Never use the word “amongst”, No “-ing” verbs, Don’t start sentences with “It” or “That”, Only use simple past tense, Never have a free standing quote, When referring to a book, always say “The work of So-and-So” as opposed to “So-and-So’s work”, etc.

    Yeah, give me MLA or APA anyday.

    Cory O’s last blog post..Hormone Induced Psychotic Behaviour a la Cory

  30. You people are insane. INSANE, I tell you! Sonic girl is nowhere close to being Jenny the Bloggess Hot. She’s a lukewarm imitation at best.

  31. Proscribed means forbidden according to the English language and the first couple of google hits. (As in: you can’t win your new court case because your claim is proscribed.)

    What’s really been lost in all of this is the fact that periods and commas always come before closing quotation marks. “Always.”

  32. grammar nazi ~ I just found your blog and left you a comment intentionally putting a period after closing quotation marks. I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. “Proscribed” fruit and all that…

  33. You know, I can let a lot go as far as punctuation and spelling. I know not everyone is perfect (except me). But literally JUST BEFORE I read this post, I read another post on a different blog where the author was talking about his family. Instead of writing “the Johns family” he wrote “the John’s family.” If you don’t FUCKING know the FUCKING difference between FUCKING plural and FUCKING possessive, then maybe you should turn in your FUCKING blog badge and FUCKING DIE.

    I feel better now.

    heather’s last blog post..A Foot Past Crazy

  34. You should have someone create a Bloggess-Stle translator, like those sites where you can translate something from English to Italian, or vice versa.

    We would all use it. Every single day. I swear.

    Jennifer H’s last blog post..In the mood to nosh

  35. I used to own copies of “The Elements of Style” and “The Chicago Manual of Style” and would carry them with me everywhere so potential clients would have half a notion to believe I actually was a Bona-Fide Editor with Mad Skillz, but then one day I ripped out all the pages and used them to construct a paper mache model of the exploded Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

  36. No money or real pie needed. I’m just a humble fan. Of course, a little euphemistic pie of gratitude would always be appreciated.

  37. I overuse “…”, let the enthusiastic stonings begin. Seriously, if you want spelling and punctuation and verb conjugation and all that shit, go to CNN or something!

    Keep it real, J!

    Anissa – Hope4Peyton’s last blog post..Please pray for Kate

  38. I’m a Journalism major also, “however” I can’t spell or punctuate worth crap AND (are you ready for this one?) I DON’T double space after my sentences, unless I absolutely have to. HA! How’s that???

    Shoegirl’s last blog post..Enough Said!

  39. Meh. I started reading the comments and then got all sleepy at the grammar nazi’s showing off their mad grammar skillz.

    Even though I was the one that pointed out the heroine AND the fact that Ninja are just fucking Ninja with no ‘a’ or ‘the’ or mother fucking ‘whoseawhatsit’ beforehand. They are just Ninja.

    And chick, they are gunna come and mess you up for making them follow your damn rules.

    Wanna come and hide out at my place?

    Kelley’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday on Thursday. With words…

  40. Bloggess -style, heretofore, shall be known as BS, which is by far, preferable to boring editorial style created by sycophants to keep us down. Long live the BS, it makes us feel alive!!!!

    immortal woman’s last blog post..I’m in a Spiral!!!

  41. I’ve been staying with my parents for a month and still can’t figure out how to punctuate “parents’ house.” Doesn’t that look weird?

    New Duck’s last blog post..Uh-oh

  42. I kneel at the altar of fate every day thankful that I work in television news and not print as I can’t write worth a good goddamn. Commas, semicolons, proper grammar – don’t know, couldn’t tell ya with regard to using it properly.

    I’ll be over here writing english good whenever you’re ready to scream into my open nose holes.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..America, F**k Yeah!

  43. I are a journalist graduate person myself! And I say your right to develop your’e own style! Because english is just TO HARD!

    Suebob’s last blog post..AlphaBob

  44. I have a disclaimer on my site that allows me to be as ignorant and as reckless with com,mas as I want to be since Im the one paying for hosting. People should totally extend the same curtesy to you.

  45. i love you. even if you are a killer of celebrities. just, please DO not kill ira. he’s too sexy to die.

    i once told a credit manager i worked with that if he didn’t “mind himself, i would set him on fire”. and i meant it.

    piglet’s last blog post..coming of age

  46. Arbitrary grammar rules or archaic typesetting legacies ought to be permitted to whither and die like the sickly branches of the language tree that they are. Sure, their existence is explicable, but that’s not the same as it being justifiable. So to whomever (that’s right) laid the smack down about the period needing to always be within the quotation marks, I need to tell you that I disagree and will not promulgate rules that serve no purpose beyond creating a little subculture of grammarians who can sneer down their noses at the grammicasters beneath them.

    Also, it’s pronounced “Dumas”. It’s about a jailbreak. You’d like it.

    Backpacking Dad’s last blog post..Summertime Fun: 19th Century Russian Style

  47. Bless you Bloggess. I will now admit that I don’t know how to use commas. I took those fancy honors classes in high school and I think they thought I knew how to do basic grammar, but alas I don’t. We spent all our time reading books. I must have missed the one day when they went over sentence structure.

    Sometimes I just leave the commas out altogether, sometimes I just throw them in at random. Glitter describes it perfectly. So from now on my still will be known as Bloggess-style. Problem solved.

    laanba’s last blog post..MP19: Seeing Double

  48. I just write. If I try to hard to write perfectly then anal retentive bastards will pick you apart.

    You write awesomely – all bloggessy and all. I’m hoping some of that rubs off on me @ the People’s Party.

    Maria’s last blog post..Suck it Up: Real Men Don’t Cry

  49. I am SO DOWN with the Bloggess style of writing. Now pass the damn booze!

    Am envious off all of these people who get to see you at BlogHer this year… Cause I won’t. And that sucks. Will have to take comfort in the fact that at least I got to meet you last year and hear THE STORY in real life! (With Ruth, Lotta, Kristie, and Deb.)

    motherofbun’s last blog post..Tell me a story…

  50. Just wondering… What does Victor think about all the comments about your Vagina? I have often wonder what y’all think about men (and women) all over the world thinking and commenting on your hoo-hoo?

    BTW. I never got my tramp stamp since I never posted a final date for voting, so every time I got set to tattoo the area above my bum, the other picture would go into the lead.

    So confusing…

    Houston’s last blog post..Happy Fourth Of July

  51. “Prescribed” is so much better than “proscribed” any day.

    Misspellings bug me but not as much as mispronunciation. Like when someone says
    “supposebly” instead of “supposedly.” That just drives me up a wall.

    I tend to overuse the quotation marks but I did put the period on the inside. I don’t know why the hell it matters, but I do remember that much from English class.

  52. I’m glad you’re setting the standard, because grammatical items like commas, semicolons, etc., are not my deal. e e cummings would not be e e cummings without his creative use of punctuation.

    JCK’s last blog post..My solo flight with the children..

  53. Why, oh why, couldn’t Wikipedia have existed when I was banging my head against the wall in my college grammar course? WHY? I would’ve looked that prof square in the eye and said – “I’M DOING IF BLOGESS-STYLE SO STEP OFF,” however that didn’t happen, no not at all.

  54. I have a Journalism degree and I’m friggin’ clueless most of the time. This does not reflect well on our education system.

    No wonder no one trusts the main stream media.

    SQT’s last blog post..Dude, Where’s Your Career?

  55. I have a law degree and an undergrad degree in microbiology. So I can’t write in any style that any normal person wants to read.

    I also have a co-worker that carries white-out in her purse so that she can correct signs with inappropriate apostrophes. That’s hardcore. She’s practically a grammar ninja!

  56. Dear GOD, you are funny.

    I also know that you should probably never, EVER visit my blog as your skin would most burst into hideous boils, shrivel and fall off at the sight of my grammar issues.

    Considering that BlogHer is in 10 days and you have such gorgeous skin, that would be a shame, indeed!

    Loralee’s last blog post..Sideblog: BLOG NOSH MAGAZINE

  57. Proscribed – clearly it’s a combination of Pro (professional) and scribed (written,) ergo, proscribed=professionally written. sounds kick-ass to me

  58. I’m a loser. I’m a bored loser. I know this is THREE years after you posted this, but I’m commenting anyway.

    My brother lives in Arkansas. I live in Alaska. We both grew up in Nebraska. One year he called and left the following message on my answering machine:

    “Charity! Where is you at? I have bin callin’ and callin’ and you just don’ pick up!”

    My husband was horrified and I just couldn’t stop laughing. I mean really, we went to the same high school and he’s only lived in Arkansas for a couple years. How did they scrape out his brain so quickly???

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