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The Greatest Mistake That Writers Make

Updated on March 17, 2014

Oh My God in Heaven

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


This is not your normal introduction. I am going to begin by sharing something I found online the other day. I was looking for some information for an article I needed to write about the causes of slippage in an automatic transmission and this is the first article I came across:

“As car technology evolves, more and more features are being added towards the modern automobile, in particular the automatic transmission system, however it has an associated problem such as the transmission slipping which become more common.

It is consider as one of the most common trouble among automatic transmissions. If ignored and left unfixed for a longer period of time, it may complicate the damage on the vehicle and may cause accidents.”

Please, just shoot me now and put this old teacher out of his misery!

I counted seven grammatical errors in the first three sentences. There may be more but I had to leave it and upchuck my lunch.

Welcome to the World of Writing in the year 2014.

Since this was a website for a business, I have to assume that the writer was paid for this hogwash. Make no mistake about it: he, or she, accomplished the goal, namely to cram as many keywords into the introduction as possible….but is this writing?

Well yes, technically speaking, this is writing. Words have been put on a page, and those words appeared through the effort of writing. But let me ask you this: If I teach a potbellied pig to fetch a ball, is the pig then a baseball player?

Can I be clearer than that?

This is what great writing looks like
This is what great writing looks like | Source

I Understand, I Understand, I Understand

I have had this discussion many times before, and I understand the opposing viewpoint. I am told that we should never discourage others from writing simply because they don’t have a mastery of the English language, and for the most part I agree with that. Writing for the love of writing should never be discouraged. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who loves writing to write….but….

And there is always a but now isn’t there?

What really bothers me is that the person who wrote that drivel above most likely lists “writer” as their occupation on their tax returns, and that I simply can’t abide by. We need another word to describe those who yes, get paid for writing, but really can’t write themselves out of a wet paper bag.

Why does this matter so much to me? Because writing is a craft, that’s why! Writing is one of the Arts for the love of all that is holy, and if you can honestly tell me that the above passage is artful then I have some serious concerns for you as well.

This is what bad writing looks like
This is what bad writing looks like | Source

So to the Point of This Article

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Confucius


The greatest mistake that writers make…that is what the title says, so that is what I’ll give you.

I spend a great amount of time with other writers. We share, we compare, we comment and we support. We all try to improve in areas like voice, rhythm, flow, character description, pace, scenes and other areas of the craft.

But there are some who forget the most basic of skills…namely the language itself.

Of course at times it is alright to make grammatical errors if it adds to the basic story, but to butcher grammar simply because one does not know the rules….that is not and never will be alright.

Allow me now to tell you my biggest problem with online writing and with ebooks. I know this will make some “writers” unhappy but that’s just too bad. In my opinion, the ease with which someone can post an article or a story or a book online has led to the dumbing down of the craft of writing. Writers online are not accountable for their mistakes. It’s just one big candy shop where the children can eat as much as they want without repercussions, and the readers are the ones who go home with a stomach ache.

Where is the pride in doing a job well?

I have been accused of being against the online writing site Bubblews. That simply is not the case. I have nothing against those who write 400 characters and then network like crazy to increase their views and “clicks,” thus increasing their earnings. If that’s your thing then fantastic. Times are tough and people need to do whatever they can to make money and pay bills….I get it!

But…..

There are some on that site….certainly not all by any means…but some who don’t care how poorly they write. They are just churning out characters and calling it writing, and that I do have a problem with. If Hemingway was a writer, and those who turn out junk just for the sake of gaining views are writers, then I think we have a basic philosophical problem.

Why You Should Care About This

Whether you are a freelance writer trying to establish a toehold in the writing community, or you are a would-be novelist or nonfiction writer hoping to one day publish a book, remember that what you write is part of your platform. Your words are you! They are a direct representation of your ability as a writer.

Now how do you want to be seen? Do you want to be taken seriously or not?

Butchering the English language is a guaranteed way to figuratively slit your own throat in this business.

Again, if you are a writer who writes for your own enjoyment and because you have a need to feed your passion for writing, then God bless you and don’t worry about any of this. Just write for the pure joy of writing.

If, however, you are a writer who has goals and dreams, then learn the language. You might be able to fool a few hundred people into reading your ebook, but once they have discovered that you have the writing skills of a 5th grader, they will not come back. Why should they?

Sit down and write something you can be proud of
Sit down and write something you can be proud of | Source

Final Thoughts

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Aristotle


I understand that I am a dinosaur with these beliefs. I understand that I am bucking the current trend by insisting that writers take their craft seriously and try to improve. I understand all of that and I stand my ground.

Writing should be a gift from the gods. Writing should be a sensory experience akin to having literary sex. Writing should be the advancement of a craft that has been handed down by the masters to those of us who are apprentices. That kind of writing carries with it a responsibility, and I will go to my grave believing that.

So if I insulted any of you I am truly sorry. That wasn’t my intention. My only hope in writing this article is to advance writing and hopefully to encourage all of you to do your best. We have enough “dumb” in today’s society. I would love to see that “dumb” lessened by some quality work from serious writers.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I love your thoughts and encouragement and only want to say, please keep it coming here, because I will always come back to see what you have to say. The reason for this is quite simple, because I respect you as a writer and a friend, too. Quite simply, thank you for taking the time to share your valuable opinions with us. Have a great day now my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great words from one of the best here and truly your message is so helpful to all writers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, what a lovely comment to begin my day with. Thank you dear friend and I hope this week is a successful one for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much DDE! I really appreciate your kind words.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Truthfully? If it is about a car engine they could fool me! lol You being a guy though...I can see you may catch his errors. I didn't get what he was saying for sure. Monday, Monday, Billy....have a great week!^

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monday, Monday, can't trust that day, Jackie! Thanks for the laugh about my gender. LOL And on, one could not understand what he was saying...must have been a foreign language. :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Billy

      I had a little smile when I read that you were not only equating yourself with the now extinct dinosaur but were also 'bucking' the trend.

      I like to think I take writing seriously but I confess I don't always get it right.

      Some would say that 'to err is to be human' but that really is a poor excuse. Perhaps we should put some of the blame on our education system.

      Thanks for helping to maintain a high standard of writing everywhere.

      Have a great day.

      Sally

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      My eyes glossed over at the word transmission, lol. Seriously though, I definitely see where today this is definitely a serious problem with writers. We want so much to get our content out there that we don't always edit as we should. Perhaps the best way to edit, is to finish the draft, get up from our laptop, get out and "smell the roses" then look at our work with fresh eyes and read our work out loud. Easier said than done, especially when we have deadlines (even a self imposed one). But its important that we do.

    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 3 years ago from New York

      I couldn't agree more! The few times I was doing research on something and I came across articles with as many grammatical errors as the example you posted, I moved along and kept on searching. The first thought that would come to my mind is that this person has no idea what he's doing and what he's writing about. Maybe that's not the case...maybe he's an expert in that particular subject, but the fact is, that person is coming across as if he/she doesn't care, so why would I want to know what that person has to say about anything.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Sally, as an ex-teacher I'm more than willing to give some blame to the educational system. ;) I've seen teachers make serious grammatical errors.

      Thanks for visiting me this Monday. I hope you are well my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, that kind of mistake I can handle. The mistakes that are continually made and nothing is done to correct them I cannot and will not accept. :) Thanks and sorry about the transmission example. LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bk42author, I don't know what the problem was with the example I selected, but you can bet I'll never read something by him again...and that's really the whole point. If we want return traffic we had better pay attention to grammar.

      Thank you for the visit and great comment.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, first off let me say my writing isn't perfect grammatically or otherwise...BUT.....I have come across one hubber since I've been here who says they are a freelance writer. I read this person's profile and found more spelling and grammatical errors than I could count in just a few paragraphs.

      This person's hubber name itself says insinuates that they are an accomplished writer, and they go on to say that the are so busy writing articles for numerous online websites and publications that they are having trouble keeping up with demand. I thought, if this person is getting paid to write, what am I doing?

      Just let me say I didn't follow this hubber and have not read more than one of their hubs. So, I agree with everything you say in this hub, and good on you for voicing your opinion. Quality is definitely more important than quantity, and the search for quick dollars has tainted that. Have a great week.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from USA

      I am horrible at grammar...thank goodness for spell check because I would flunk that occasionally too. I have to agree. When your time is precious you don't want to have to wade through the ton of errors to find the end. I started to write for the bubble but found I could not read most of what was written there. I felt guilty...but again...time was precious. I hope more people will understand that how they write reflects the type of person they are. You can't always keep people happy, but if you write well, they will come back for more.

      Great hub, Teacher! I will add it to my collection.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another great lesson Billy.

      As I was reading along a comment I made in a letter to my dear friend who was also my English Teacher in school came back to me. I posted a copy of my book of poems 'My Beautiful Rock Rose' to her along with a letter. The comment ran something like:-

      "I composed the poems for this book a couple of years ago and feel that my poetry has progressed since then."

      I left school at the young ago of 16 even though I was in the top grade in school and received no further education except to read and to help my children with their lessons/h0omework etc.. Therefore the various genre of poetry I compose today is self taught!!! How does it fare ??I know I would be on a much higher level if I had carried on with my education even to go to university!!

      I have not spoken to my friend face to face or on the phone but will be visiting soon. Therefore as of yet there has been no reply . I think I could carry on with this comment but its time for me to return to my afternoon shift. Thank you again Billy for all your wonderful work. You are indeed a wonderful teacher .Lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very well said, Bill. I edit and re-write all of my Hubs at least 3 times. If I read an article that has poor grammar and spelling, I move on. Churning out articles poorly written is the same as working an assembly line job. Not a craftsman. I guess I am a dinosaur also, Bill and proud of it.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill.....Despite the fact that I put the effort in, I'm sure that I am guilty now and then of "butchering." This is something I do not want to do. I am keenly aware of how very important this is.....ESPECIALLY for writers.

      When I read poorly written work, it is like fingernails on a chalk board. Seriously, I get everything you have said here. In fact, as I read the 2 paragraphs on automatic transmissions, you scared me! LOL.....I thought, "Oh dear, what's wrong with bill today??!" Fortunately I was quickly put at ease!

      I am firmly in the habit of reading and re-reading my work before publishing. If I read it 4 times, I will find at least 4 necessary repairs. Even then, IMO, a body of work can always use a tweak/correction here and there. I take time to edit often as well.

      I SO appreciate your teaching talents. I never want to skip your classes!...UP+++ tweeted

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Couldn't agree with you more Bill. It's so sad how so many don't give this profession the dignity it deserves. Here I am freaking out about a silly spelling mistake on my blog - yes, blog - and then there are those who claim to be writers and churn out a bunch of mindless crap without a second care in the world. Drives me insane. I wrote for content mills when I first started out and though it was a good start, it's something I'm so glad to no longer be doing. And you're so right about what it takes to be a writer. In today's modern and digital age, it's not simply about finishing an article and there you go. Well, maybe in some cases. But mostly, there's so much other stuff that goes on afterwards. Great article!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill, thus so begged to be said and I am so glad you did! I have often wondered as I've do many incoherent articles on many sites, how it's acceptable. ( Ok, that was snobby) But, truly, there are too many posts out there that, SEO aside, still don't make sense. I think what frustrated me more is seeing how many views, followers, etc they have. Thank you for this Bill! Up+ and sharing!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Geez, iffen i talk hillbilly sometimes, i'm ' jest ' having fun Bill, lighten up! Hee. Another good one..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, John, for sharing those thoughts. I just think writing is too important to the advancement of civilization to not take it seriously...and we all make grammatical mistakes....but most of us writers TRY to make fewer mistakes next time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tipoague, there is a difference between not having good grammar and not caring. :) You are a good writer, and if you have problems with grammar it does not show...and it does not show because you care. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you for sharing that personal reflection. I have seen you advance your craft in the time I have known you...I have no doubt you are light years from where you once were as a writer. Carry on my friend.

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HSchneider, then God bless the dinosaurs! LOL You re-write three times because you care and writing is important to you....and I say bravo to you for doing that. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula....LOL...when I used that example I had a fear that someone would think I wrote it. :) Thank goodness you caught on. I'd hate for you think I had slipped over the deep end.

      Fingernails on a chalkboard...indeed, Sis!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I would have loved you as a student. "Mindless crap"....you had me laughing on that one but it was correct. There has to be some pride in a writer or to me they are not a writer.

      Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, if that was snobby then sign me up. I am tired of this country dumbing down because of convenience. Simply because it is easy to publish an ebook doesn't mean the ebook should be crap.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thanks Ruby, and I forgive you for that hillbilly streak.

    • Rafiq23 profile image

      Muhammad Rafiq 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Bill! I absolutely agree with you that a writer should pay heed to grammatical intricacies. Verbosity coupled with grammatical mistakes can mar a sublime subject. Bill, those whose mother tongue is not English will certainly have grammatical mistakes in their writing. What should they do? Any suggestion?

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      You had me at literary sex. Great words of wisdom, Billy! My daughter is learning punctuation and grammar and my goodness does she love a comma! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rafiq, I have sympathy for anyone for whom English is a second language. The one way to learn it is to practice it if you don't have a tutor...and it is a very difficult language. Best wishes to you Sir. If I can help at any time feel free to ask me.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Many years ago in my early college days, my English instructor was babbling on about 'language communities' and why we should be more concerned about content than grammar. I now realize that it was early political correctness, and that's why "Me and him went to a movie last night" is considered proper English from a college grad these days.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mari, LOL....I'm glad someone enjoyed that phrase. As for your daughter, many a young writer falls in love with the comma. That's better than ignoring it. Thanks for the visit and smile this morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....thank you Will! We certainly don't want to insult anyone, do we? We must be all-inclusive? Well, when it comes to proper grammar, I say NO! Learn it or don't use it....how's that for a politically incorrect statement?

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      I totally agree Bill, less is more as long as it's enough.

      Graham.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, if you're a dinosaur, then I'm a dinosaur-ette. It's the writers that don't give a damn that make it hard for the rest of us. They're the ones who accept $3 for a 500 word article. And there is so much of it out there. How do they even make the first couple of pages in SERP?

      Way back when I was writing for a mill client, he commented that his other writers could crank out ten 500 word articles a day. I told him I couldn't do that and still provide quality work. He admired me for that. However, he made that asinine comment that in his business, quantity matters - not quality. Can you believe that?

      By the way, something I learned recently via Writers Digest: alright technically isn't a word. All right is the phase to be used instead. And here all my life I've been using alright. Who knew?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nicely stated, Graham, and I thank you! Have a great week my friend.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Bravo, Bill! I love your humor and straightforwardness. You are right on the money with this hub. Thanks for putting writers on notice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Actually, Sha, I found that out when I was writing a hub about grammar six months ago. I didn't know until then.and I'm a damn teacher. LOL Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lawdoctorlee....I've read your work and I know you understand my point. Thank you and best wishes on that new book of yours.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Actually, Bill...you make me want to go back and double-check all of my work right now...hahahha. Wishing you continued success. You're an inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you my friend!

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Hi billybuc!

      Thanks for helping to fine tune our skills. The English language is not easy for everyone. Ironically, the hub I am currently preparing is similar to this. Voted up!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning Bill. What a wonderful start to my day--your thoughts are golden.

      I agree that there is definitely a dumbing-down in America when it comes to appreciation of the written word. In 2017 the essay portion of the SAT's will no longer be mandatory. Is it any wonder why?

      I could go on and on about the importance of reading to your children and imparting to them a love of books. I think that is where it all begins. A whole generation (or two) no longer reads for the simple joy of reading. (Perhaps that could be a future hub by billybuc).

      Thank you for yet another wonderfully written Hub (and if you are a dinosaur, then so am I).

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 3 years ago from Indiana

      Well stated. Almost nothing irritates me more than reading a published item and thinking, "Someone got PAID for that?" It's sometimes the challenge I need to get busy and show I can do better. Depending on the day, however, it sometimes just remains irritating! Thank you for putting this out there!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Amen to that! I'm sick to death of seeing bad writing, bad grammar, misuse of words and phrases, lack of knowledge of meaning...... I could go on but I'll zip it.

      If we want to use words to inform, to enlighten, to encourage, to teach, to impart the joy of life itself, then we must, must, must use them properly or we lose the impact.

      If English is a second language then I can excuse a few little errors but if someone wishes to write well, they must learn the language well and have no fundamental errors. Idioms and prepositions are the most difficult; difficult to learn and difficult to translate. However, the basic language must be mastered.

      I have a few hubs ready regarding grammar and I've baulked at publishing each time because they make me sound like a boring old teacher who doesn't want language to evolve. Evolution is great, using the language incorrectly is, as you say, the greatest mistake.

      I took our local Asda (Walmart to you) store to task not long ago. They had a large banner saying: Help the Environment: Use Less Bags. Can you hear me screaming? Their response was 'language evolves'!!

      There, out of my system now - for about 5 minutes! I'm going to get back to those hubs of mine and try to make them zippy!

      I'm behind you all the way with this one. Hope your week is starting well, bill; have a great one! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cecileportilla, great minds follow similar paths. I look forward to reading your hub. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carb Diva, I agree with you, this problem begins at home. Parents must read to their children and instill in them a love of reading. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you dearabbysmom...and yes, they do get paid for it and yes, it is a travesty. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my dear, you had me laughing all the way through your comment. Language evolves???? What a crock of poop! Good language only evolves when the rules of grammar are taken seriously. Write those hubs, Ann, and I'll gladly read them and share them. You? Boring? I think not.

      Have a wonderful week my friend.

      bill

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, the first thing that needs to be done is to up the grammar.Thanks, Bill.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Bill - I just have to ask you..... is it wrong for me to want to un-friend people on Facebook because of their awful grammar and spelling (or, as they might write it, "there awefull grammer"?) For me, it is fingernails on the chalkboard. And we're only talking about status updates!

      Published articles with such errors are a thousand times worse ("worst"??) OMG, it is such a pet peeve of mine. I just had to comment and vote your article up on all grounds. Keep up the great work. Happy Monday to you!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Thanks again for the reply and keep these wonderful lessons coming.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Steph, there should be an "unfriend" link that simply says "ignorant." Thanks for the laugh my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is always a pleasure, Eddy! I'm a writer...this is what I do.

      Thank you my dear friend.

      billy

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill. sallybea has hit the nail on the head when she suggests going away from a piece of writing, then reading it aloud when you return. That shows up lots of mistakes to writers, but then if you don't know what the mistakes are, you can't correct them! Proof-read and check with a spell and grammar checker! Just thought I'd add that. Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle. I appreciate your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I can jump back on my wagon any old time. Thanks for the return thoughts.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Great article Billy . . . it's okay that you're a dinosaur, I'm with you all the way! Swing vote :O)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fossillady, I feel better with your company. Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      What really scares me are those very young coming up who truly believe texting is writing, and they go and publish an ebook!!! Yikes ...the horror indeed. Great sermon ...preach on dear Bill! Hugs, Faith Reaper. I can feel your blood pressure rising via your words here.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      If you are a dinosaur, then I am a lady dinosaur. I cringe when I read some of the stuff out there. I also cringe when I read some of the garbage on HP.Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Faith, this is one subject I can't shut up about. We need to raise the level of discourse in this country; not allow it to wither on the vine of ignorance. Yes, my blood pressure is spiking. LOL

      Enjoy your lunch kind lady and thank you.

      blessings always

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Not to mention of those who write "published author" in their profile, only to have the reader wonder who would publish such bad work. It's an individual task to promote good writing. I hope I can follow you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Breakfastpop, hooray! There are quite a few dinosaurs out there and that means we are not yet extinct. How cool is that?

      Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I have read some stuff by "published authors" that make me cringe. Is that really what we want as civilization advances? I think not.

      You will have no problem following me my friend. Thank you!

    • DonnaCaprio profile image

      Donna Caprio Quinlan 3 years ago from Newburyport, MA

      When I read an article that has a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, I pass it by. I'm not sure if I can trust that the authors information is correct. Now, I have a long way to go to perfect my writing, but I am trying. My goal is to become a writer, so as in any occupation that I might choose, I am taking it seriously and taking classes to improve. I feel my writing reflects who I am, and I only want to put my best self out there for the world to know.

      Your hub is timely as I have been wondering when it is that someone can officially call themselves a writer. I thought it might be when the writing is good enough to get paid for it. It doesn't sound like this is the case. Thanks, Donna

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, sites like Bubblews are first and foremost in the business of making fast money, therefore, anything goes. They don't even pretend to give a...fig about the art of writing. However; they do provide a level playing field for those people who merely wish to earn some quick and easy money and in all honesty, I can't blame the people who uses the site. I do agree that the standard of work I've seen published in many ebooks can be pretty bad. You've given us much to chew over with this great article, informative and thought-provoking as always my friend. Take care, my best to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, in answer to your question...you are a writer when you declare yourself a writer. You are a freelance writer when you get paid to write....so in a very real sense, you are both my friend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jo! I really have no problem with the theory behind Bubblews...I understand people need money...I just think we need a new term for those who could care less about the art of writing. :)

      Don't chew too hard my friend. I'll be back with something a little softer tomorrow.

      blessings always my Bedfordshire friend

      bill

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another excellent article, Bill. Keep them coming. We each need these reminders... if only to justify the effort we expend to do what you are saying! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...great line, Dr. Bill...thank you!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      BANG! I wasn't shooting at you. That shot was aimed at the person who wrote the words you quoted at the beginning of your article. You are so on the mark by saying the ease of getting published on-line or creating an e-book has made it so anyone can do it and they end up writing a bunch of garbage. Unfortunately for the rest of us - those who really try to write perfectly - the junk writers give us all a bad name. I don't know how many people I've talked to who said they'd never buy another self-published book because they've read two or three and they were so badly written they couldn't finish the book. Their first experiences were with the trash, so they think everyone is like that and will never learn they made a false assumption. I hope some of those bad writers read this, finally admit it applies to them (which most of them will deny it), and then make the change to become better writers.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Why you gotta be so hard on writers who don't got any grammar skillz? And there are many talented writers on Bubblews--you just don't know where to look. For example, the top spot on the front page at this very moment is a post titled, "Fried Chicken – A food that bring water in my mouth!!!!" If that isn't literary genius, my friend, then, well . . . Ok, my sarcasm can go only so far and now I'm exhausted.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, you make such a valid point. There are good writers out there, but they are being dragged down and given a bad name by the bad writers...and that's too bad. Ebooks is a viable option for many talented writers, and I hope they don't lose future sales because of the numbskulls who publish and really shouldn't. :) Thanks Sheila!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I was laughing right out of the gate, but I was howling when I got to the article title about Fried Chicken...and I know you weren't making that up. LOL Carry on my sarcastic friend, and thank you for that friend thing that you do.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      "The ease with which someone can post an article or a story or a book online has led to the dumbing down of the craft of writing." Yes! You are on fire today with your truth-telling.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. Every once in awhile I'll come across an article that makes me want to rip my hair out...this was the result. :)

    • tehgyb profile image

      Don Colfax 3 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      100% Agreed, though, I am myself guilty of butchering at times - I write for the love of creating. I don't by any means consider myself a professional.

      That being said, when I make mistakes they're exactly that - mistakes. Mistakes that are usually learned from, as it is the human's nature to do so.

      Thanks for the great hub! I'm heading over right now to read more of your hubs!

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 3 years ago from Australia

      As George Orwell showed so effectively in 1984, once you lose your language skills, you lose your ability to think, for there is no longer a framework on which to formulate your thoughts. Thanks for a great article; you mightn't be able to change other writers, but you can encourage by example.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tehgyb, heck, we all make mistakes. I'll miss some after re-reading an article two or three times. Those I can live with. What I can't stomach is poor grammar that the writer makes no effort to correct....that, my friend, is "dumbing down." :) Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anne, an excellent example...thank you for the Orwell thoughts.

    • Soraya Y profile image

      Soraya Y 3 years ago from Atlanta

      Unfortunately the world of technology has changed even the proper use of language. That is really sad, seeing how people dont care a lot about grammatical mistakes.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      "Spell check" may be a great help to writers but it also has a lot to answer for. Many people just rely on it solely without rereading their work, and many words pass because they are still words but not the correct ones.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Very creative article Billy! I always look forward to reading what you have to say. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting observation, Soraya, and you are absolutely correct. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great point, John, and I agree with you. There is no substitute for editing several times without a machine doing it for you. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Victoria! Have a great week.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Well stated as always Bill. I know so little about automobiles that I almost couldn't catch the problems in that excerpt;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It was the grammar, Crystal, and it was atrocious. If I was grading that he/she would flunk. They are lucky I wasn't their teacher. :) It's always good to see you stop by; thank you!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      I know. I was kidding! Lol.

    • theBAT profile image

      theBAT 3 years ago

      A very interesting hub. I agree. Writing is a craft and should not be taken for granted. But of course, as in any craft there are stages or a series of transformation to reach a certain degree of perfection. Grammatical mistakes are fine provided it is not deliberate. At any rate, write to express than to impress. Great hub. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whew! Glad to hear that, Crystal. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you theBAT...I love your last line..."write to express than to impress." True words!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

      It is disheartening to see some of the terrible writing that's published on the internet. Your example would be funny if it weren't true...I recently came across a hub that was just as bad! I don't believe that everyone who wants to write should be allowed to publish for public consumption. It's like saying a bad cook should be allowed to serve food in a restaurant. No, let them perfect their skills in solitary! :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      I did laugh at your 'just shoot me now' remark! And yes I totally understand what you mean. What gets to me is that the site itself can't have a person or staff who keeps an eye on the grammar, and yet it gets to the top of the front page of Google etc. I love writing, so to me it has to be right or at least as right as I can be, and no you are not a dinosaur in your thinking, I believe most of us totally agree with you, keep 'em coming bill! yes, the word 'em is good grammar too! lol!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Stephanie, that is the perfect line....perfect their skills in solitary. Oh thanks for the laugh my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Nell, it must be good grammar. That's how my parents spoke. :) Too funny my friend. I have to laugh; otherwise I'd be crying.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Wow! Very insightful. I must say I struggle with grammar and proper punctuation, that is why I'm not confident enough to accept free lancing assignments at this time. I understand how you feel about keeping writing at a high standard and working hard to perfect the literary masterpeice :) Thank you so much for your wisdom; its people like you that wake people like me up and remind myself how important good quality writing is :)

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I am afraid writing well is a dying art, my friend. The internet and text messaging does nothing to encourage decent writing. Instead, everyone just writes without proofreading a thing, makes up words, and has no concern for grammar. My writing is never perfect, but it scares me to see what some people are doing. I could also begin my own rant about Bubblews, but I will spare you. It is getting late, so I will go to bed rather than bore you with that. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carrie, thanks for your thoughts. From your comment I think it is obvious that you know how important quality writing is...and I didn't see one grammatical mistake in your comment. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Jeannie, I doubt you would be boring me. I have very mixed feelings about Bubblews...I understand people needing money, but where oh where is pride?

      Thanks my friend.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      free whirling is a writing art

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      This is an important issue. I think reading should be as much fun as writing. Of course professional writers should be great writers! I know that I have some issues with english grammar, I'm not a native speaker... Therefore I always check my texts before publishing, it's the least I can do. I am not a professional writer in english, but my goal is to improve during time. Voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sujaya, I agree with you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I don't know how any foreign-speaking writer writes in English. You have my admiration....seriously....I could not do what all of you do. Well done and thank you!

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      I think you give some great advise Billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you MG....I try!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

      I think people who were English teachers find reading substandard fare harder than most others. I also think that many who write online simply do not know enough about the language to use it well, even though they think that they do. I know that ever since I joined HP, I have continued to learn and grow. Even though I, too, was an English teacher, I now gag when I reread some of my older posts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Timetraveler2....you had me laughing. I read one of my oldest articles the other day and I was embarrassed. I know exactly what you are talking about. Thank you!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      I always read and admire your writing skills :) Thank you for helping me to improve myself :) Take care and God bless you! Keep up the good work !!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      RDsparrowriter, that is a very sweet thing for you to say. Thank you so much and blessings to you always.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Wow! What a write - what a rant - what a rave! Woot!!

      Listen girlfriend - me thinks you are the salmon swimming upstream in the swill that has become the writing industry.

      Anything goes - sista' and then some it seems.

      Spelling? wut dat? Grummer? Bummer?

      Plot? NOT!

      Tight? Yeah, right!

      tough to make a living these days - tougher to spell it...lol

      sharingxx

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I've been swimming upstream most of my life. If I ever went with the current I'd probably swallow too much water. :) Hugs to you my feisty feline.

      bill

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      As one dinosaur to another, Bill. I totally agree. This was excellent. To me, it is similar to learning the keys on a computer. It is a pet peeve of mine that they teach kids how to be on the Internet before they teach them how to type. So we have a whole generation of kids pecking on the keys. And don't get me started on the qwerty keyboard on cell phones - who invented that, anyway - a dyslectic? If you're going to write - learn the language! This was a good read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Ann, I'm laughing about the dyslexic line. Too funny! I'm with you my dear. The dumbing down of America is well under way.

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is a great read! ..you've passed on a serious message or should I say warning while coating it with humour and philosophy..voted up mate!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hackslap, thanks a lot my friend. I wish I lived in Australia so I could call people "mate." :)

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 3 years ago from India

      Really nice advise here. :) It is true that online writing not only allows, but also calls for the dumbing down of writing skills. If you write a blog post with sentence formations that replicate the complexity found in a Jane Austen or an Oscar Wilde book, there are high chances that many will not read it! It scares me when people in the media world tell me everything's going to move online. I believe we might cease to experience serious writing after that.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I hope you never stop teaching, with a healthy dash of preaching...

      Somewhere, someone is dusting off a dictionary because of this article. {Yes, this 'Wilma Flintstone' still checks words in the Webster...yabba dabba doo!}

      Love ya and now, time for a BP check, sir! Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cherylann, thanks for your thoughts and honestly, it scares me too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria my dear, thank you! I love holding the dictionary and thumbing through it....if I could afford it I would buy the complete set of encyclopedias. LOL A dinosaur for sure.

      love,

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing another amazing hub, bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, vkwok! Thank you too!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Good for you Bill! As you said, one should take pride in their writing. I find many good writers who make a lot of errors. As for that example at the beginning... you counted seven grammatical errors, I counted eight. lol. It's sad that some writers have so much to say, as well as offer so much advice, but with little attention to the presentation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glenn, thank you for your comment...and for agreeing with me. LOL I'm old-school my friend. If I am to be taken seriously for my writing abilities, then I need to take it seriously.

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 3 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Bill, I have to agree with Glenn, that many writers who think they are writers fail to give a good presentation. But also fail to utilize proper grammar and pronunciation afterward.

      I'm sure all of us who enjoy writing occasionally fail to focus on this at times, including myself. Thank you another interesting article that drives home this point even further.

      And if it wasn't for Glenn sharing this article of yours with all of us here on hubpages, well - I may have never found it to remind myself to edit my own work and watch out for writing boo boos.

      JL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlbowden, thank you, and thanks to Glenn as well. Show me a writer who doesn't make mistakes and I'll show you a machine. We all make them; it's just a matter of whether we care enough to fix them or not. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Amen to this article Bill. I know I make mistakes, but I go over and over something before I publish it and even go back later and check. Sometimes I really think an article looks interesting and then wham, I can't get past the first paragraph.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I'm with you. I refuse to read trash and that's just the way I will always be.

      Thanks for stopping by again and have a great week.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      You made some interesting points here. If somebody calls themselves a writer, he/she should be held accountable for their work, if they put it out there.

      By the way, I LOVE Bubblews :-) It isn't a writers' site though, it is more of a social sharing site, when you can simply write about your day, silly things etc. I know that the quality isn't really there, but the site is more about making online connections and having fun with it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, I agree with you about Bubblews and if you love it then fantastic. It is what it is....and many people love it and that's great.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

      bill

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Our writing abilities show who we really are. If we can't put toughest together, then we are simply disjointed. My vote is for writing well, with purpose, and clearly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's my vote as well, Deb, and I will go to the grave believing in the sanctity of the written word.

    • Lori P. profile image

      Lori Chidori Phillips 20 months ago from Southern California USA

      After following you for a while, only now am I getting to actually reading more of your wonderful hubs. Life has kept me busy--and in the hospitals! Anyway, I greatly value your advice. I have committed many writing sins despite the fact that I actually majored in journalism. Laziness and lack of professional integrity were to blame, and believe me, I repent over these sins daily! I have sinned against the sanctity of the written word and the gift it is to be able to communicate through it.

      Now, I'm in a better mental place, and I'm ready to restart with the right attitude. I'm open and teachable...and willing to put in the hard work to become a better writer. Thank you for your helpful, educational hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, what a lovely thing for you to say to me. Thank you! I love your admission....I doubt you really sinned that much :) but I find it refreshing that you said that. Best wishes and if I can be of any help, feel free to contact me.

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