I'm at Hart Johnson's blog today talking about the inspiration behind Defying Gravity.
Every 1st and 3rd Thursday, I'll take your editorial questions. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and more! I will showcase questions and answers (with permission) once I get questions as well. To ask a question, please fill out the form below.
I've been a freelance editor since November 2010. If I don't know the answer, I will find it.
Christine Rains asks, “I’ve always been told it’s improper to start a sentence with “but.” BUT I see it a lot. (I usually change the “but” to “yet” when editing.) Is it a stylistic choice or is it proper in some instances?”
It depends on what you are writing. Is it nonfiction? An essay? Fiction? Not using “but” to start a sentence is formal writing, such as essays, theses, most nonfiction. In fiction, the rule not to use “but,” or “and” for that matter, to start a sentence is thrown out the window. True, you don’t want to overuse it, but stylistically it is not only used, but also can be encouraged.
Jessica G. asks, “I can never remember if I should use “accept” or “except.” Is there a tip for their proper usage?
Accept means “to receive, take in, approve.” It’s a verb. Example, “I accepted the extra piece of cake.”
Except means “but not” or “with the exclusion of.” It is a preposition, but there is the case where except can be a verb to mean “reject” as in “The club admitted the group, but excepted Jill because she’s under age twenty-one.”
Knowing this may help some, but is there a quick tip to remember?
Yes, focus on the beginning letters and their meanings.
If you accept, you approve it.
If you except, you exclude it.
I found this great site that gives a trick to remembering it as well as a quiz.