Wednesday, August 1, 2012

     I managed to unintentionally turn a reviewer of books into a hail storm of "your're wrong and I'm right" comments on goodreads last night. In a way the poor woman deserves support because her review was based on my grammar. I'll add she is right on the money with her comments about my lack of knowledge in that area...I just don't' care. 
     As I was to learn, she has the attitude of so many folks today, where fault finding is concerned. They have the right to say anything they desire and others should  be impressed and grateful for their astute observations  of the the obvious. 
    I firmly believe most reviewers give an honest evaluation of any book they take the time to comment on. They read the book and comment on how they felt about the story told. If you get a bad review...the reviewer really didn't enjoy what you wrote. I read those types of reviews and chuckle. I can say this because the mistakes were mine and I failed to tell a story the reader could enjoy. This is a hobby...not my life and if you can't find humor in a simple mistake you've made,  then you really need to evaluate yourself.
     What the lady didn't realize was I found no fault with her analysis of my knowledge of grammar...I agree with her. She also doesn't understand this is a hobby for me...not the sum total of my very being. It's much the same as riding my Can Am in the rain...I'm having fun and I just don't care what others think.
      Having said that, I also believe there are a few folks who review books for the sense of self gratification received by sharing their knowledge of syntax, inflection and conformity to the principles of grammatically correct usage of the English language. They also receive a sense of self importance when sharing  with those who are less enlightened than themselves. 
      These grammarians of correctness fail to realize there are folks like myself in this old world who just don't care what they think. 
    Rushing too the defense of this lady was a pseudo intellectual, who intended to place me in the penitence mood for the rest of my life. She told me she had dodged a bullet and wouldn't ever be reading anything I wrote. 
    Oh my dear God...how will I ever survive?
    After I stopped laughing at the bullet comment I once again couldn't stop myself from observing I was the one who had dodged "the bullet."
    She is also correct in stating I'm am a "odd person," and I'll add possibly even correct in the eyes of some as a "really mean person."
    Will I tell either one of them where the mistake in grammar used for that review was? Not now, it amused me as soon as the paltry size of this slip in  grammatical correctness was noted. I couldn't help but point out the splinter in her eye, as she pointed out the beam in mine. The only way I knew it was there,  was I've been pounded about the head and shoulders by the Heinrich Himmler of grammar each and every time I make the same mistake. It tickled me pink to not only find someone else making the same "crimes against correctness", but to actually spot it on my own. 
     Neither of them have a sense of humor, so why bother.  I would also bet there isn't one in a thousand grammarians who could spot it. We tend to think in terms of the common usage of the language and never think beyond spelling, fragmented sentences and of course punctuation.
      Did I enjoy this little tete-a-tete with the lady...at the onset of this misadventure with humor...yes I did. Did I learn anything from this mischance into the world of  "hey let's have a chuckle together"...yes I did. Sometimes it's best to just enjoy a private joke only you saw and appreciated in silence. 
     The only bad reviews I take to heart are those which state "you failed me." The reviewer started reading my book because something  caught their attention and when you fail that reader...you have indeed failed. If they take the time to tell me where I let them down, I try to learn from my mistake. 
      By the way...I'm really looking forward to the bad reviews I get on the book just released. I wrote a fictional story based on our educational system. Would anyone care to take bets on the number of "you should be banned from publishing books" reviews this one generates? 

2 comments:

  1. I am so glad I am not the only author who feels this way. I had a similar situation come up with a literary critic!

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  2. As always Doug your posts enlighten and educate. I don't think you're mean, I think your just candidly honest and that in itself is refreshing in my opinion! :)

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