Category Archives: help

Using Verbs part 1

Before I get going with the verbs, I am puzzled. This, I suppose is a throwback to previously when I did nouns. I also mentioned it in that treatise, too, but it’s beginning to bug me.

So many pieces of writing I see nowadays, that mention our beautiful planet, fail to give it a capital letter. Why? It’s name is a PROPER noun. Proper nouns begin with a CAPITAL LETTER.

I haven’t noticed people writing Mars, Venus, Jupiter, the Asteroids, etc, and not capitalising the first letter, so why don’t people, and people who should know better, too, not treat our own home in the same way?

Writers and other supposedly educated people do it. One writer I read recently (who claimed an editor in the acknowledgements) occasionally used a capital, and sometimes didn’t. (What was the editor doing?)

It’s Earth, folks, if you’re talking about the planet, and earth if you’re talking about the ground or soil.

OK, that’s done, so let’s begin on the problem of verbs.

I propose to do 2 posts on this as there are 2 main problems people have.

 Every verb has to agree with its subject. Yes, you know that. I know you know that. But why can’t people get it every time.

The worst is ‘there’s. This is short for ‘there is’, so we cannot say ‘There’s three of them.’ Yet I hear it all the time, and even see it in writing.

 Then there’s another one I mentioned in the last post. Agreement with a collective noun. Collective nouns are SINGULAR.

How many governments does a country have? One? Yes, only one, and so it’s singular. To say ‘the Government are planning to look into this problem.’ is WRONG.

The same goes for ‘team’, ‘herd’, ‘flock’, ‘peloton’ (if you’re a cyclist) All singular. ‘The team are..’? wrong. ‘The flock are…’? wrong.

 Finally, some people make the verb agree with something that’s not actually its subject.

e.g. One of the girls ARE going to come with us.


Here, the verb is referring to ‘one’ and not ‘girls’, so it should be:

One of the girls IS going to come with us.

I’m sure you can think of many more examples.

I know I’m not as brilliant at doing these grammar posts as some others, but I hope to be able to help a few people.

It also helps me get things that annoy me off my chest!
If you think this will help others, please feel free to reblog and I would be grateful for any link back to my site.

Please leave a comment in the comments box, and if you would like to receive my quarterly newsletter, and information about new releases and special offers,click the JOIN button on the sidebar.

Review of Write it Right by Mary Deal *****

Mary Deal has produced a book that every aspiring author, and even those with experience, should read.


She deals with every aspect of writing, from the beginning, when the book is just the germ of an idea, to the end, when the book is published and the dreaded marketing begins.


If you have no other book on writing, this should be the one you buy. It should be required reading for every author.

The book is easy to read, with no complicated explanations. She talks about the importance of editing and getting your manuscript the best it can be. She mentions how you can improve your plot, and how important characters are in getting the poblic to read and enjoy. Then she goes into the best ways of formatting your book for publishing, and the importance of the cover art.


There is little or nothing she doesn’t cover in this amazing book. If you are a writer, or an aspiring one, buy this book now.

I give it 5 stars.

Some thoughts on relationships.

One of my Facebook friends, Mark Tomlinson Allen, from Croydon, Greater London, posted this on his timeline. I thought it was so amazing that I had to post it here.

Mark actually asked his friends to forward it with a photograph of themselves and their partner/spouse, but I forgo this as my spouse is very anti social media and would not appreciate being added. So sadly, I have no photo of us, but I’ve posted Mark’s with his wife.

These comments are something everyone should read, especially people just embarking on a relationship. Please feel free to reblog it. I’m sure Mark won’t mind.

For couples so eager to call it quits after the infatuation wears off, to throw in the towel on your relationship because everything isn’t ‘perfect’… here is some food for thought.

Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep. It’s not a clean home, filled with laughter and love making every day.

It’s someone who steals all the covers, and snores, it’s slammed doors and a few harsh words at times. It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal, and then offering forgiveness. It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you in spite of, and because of, who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid.

It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life. It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud. It’s about eating the easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour because you both had a crazy day.

It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lies down with you and holds you, and tells you everything is going to be okay. And you believe them.

It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane. Loving someone isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s hard. But it is amazing and comforting and one of the best things you will ever experience.

Three pairs of words often confused

When I was at school, many, many moons ago, we learned about homonyms. These are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. Some of them are very tricky, and often catch people out. Yes, even writers!

A recent spate of these in a variety of places has prompted me to write this little post to try to help. So here we go!

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Wet/Whet.

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We all know the first of these. It’s what happens in the rain. We get WET.

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But the second? WHET is to sharpen something. Hence a WHETSTONE, which is something used to sharpen knives, daggers, swords scissors, etc. It does not need to be wetted before use as it’s not a WETSTONE. When I was little, I thought that’s what it was and pictured people sharpening their knives with a bucket of water by their sides to keep the stone wet.
So we WHET our appetite, we don’t WET it.

Examples.

Davrael sat by his horse WHETTING his knife before the battle.

As we sat down to our meal, the waiter brought a small savoury to WHET our appetites.

When the dragonet plunged into the water, they people nearby got WET.
Peek/Peak

This is one I’ve mentioned before, but I make no excuse for doing it again. I see it spelled wrongly far too often.

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Peek. This is a quick, or sometimes sneaky look at something. Many authors will give a sneak PEEK at a chapter of their new book.

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Peak. The top of something, often a mountain.

Examples

Thadora PEEKED around the corner to make sure there were no guards visible before venturing into the alley.

The climbers were exhausted by the time they reached the PEAK of the mountain.

I think that the fact that Peek is often written after Sneak that causes the problem.
Poured/Pored

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Pour

To run in a steady stream, or, of rain, to fall heavily.

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Pore (verb) Not to be confused with Pore (noun) meaning a small hole.

To be absorbed in reading or studying something.

Examples.

When we went to catch the bus it was POURING with rain.
Or
The barman POURED a measure of whisky into the glass.

In order to pass the test to leave his apprenticeship behind, Carthinal PORED over the magic texts.

I hope this has made it a bit clearer.

Please leave your comments in the comments box. I like to hear what you think.

Help me to put a signup form onto my site.

I’ve built a sign-up form for Dragons Rule OK, but when I try to add it to my site, instead of the form, I get the code printed where the form should be.

I followed the instructions given, but it didn’t work.

A help on the net said there’s a bit of code that you can change to put it right, I did that, but still got the same result.

Can anyone out there help me?

Thanks.

How to upload to Instagram from your pc. (without additional software)

Apologies for the lateness of this post. Don’t know what happened. I thought I’d scheduled it, but apparently I hadn’t. Or I logged out too soon or something. Anyway, here is the promised post about uploading to Instagram from your pc.

It is not essential to buy, or even use free software to post to Instagram from your pc. Here is how you can do it.

I apologise for the pictures. I don’t have a print screen button on my keyboard, so had to use my camera. For some of them it chose to flash, so there’s a reflection of the flash.

First open Google Chrome and click on the 3 dots at the top right. You should then get this drop-down menu.

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When you’ve done that, the following will appear.

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Click again on the 3 dots and you should get the following:

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Click on More Tools, then on Developer tools. You will then get this window.

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Look at the top and you will see a symbol representing a phone and a tablet. It’s second from the left as shown here. When you click on it itshould turn blue.

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Click on the BLUE address that comes up to get this screen.

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Click on the x button at the top of the righthand window to close it. Be careful not to accidentally close Chrome or you’ll have to start again!

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Now you can click on the + sign at the bottom of the instagram window to add your photos from your pc.

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I hope you found this useful. I was delighted when I found I didn’t need additional software, If you want to see what I’ve uploaded from my pc, go to https://www.instagram.com/v.m.sang

If you did find it useful, please add a comment in the box. Or even if you didn’t!