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January 09, 2018


Dean James

Could the code be simply poor editing? I really can't see a point to using quotation marks for dialogue only occasionally. Otherwise just write the thing in omniscient third person and tell everything instead of letting people talk.

Ann Mason

I'm with you on this, Catriona. If I feel the need to edit, I fail to enjoy the book. If I fail to enjoy, I return it for a refund.

Every Single Time

Punctuate THAT

I had no problem with WOLF HALL, however. My complaint about Hilary Mantel is that I'm getting impatient awaiting the third book.

It is much like my impatience with you and the next Dandy Gilver bewk. My green bananas are now all black and greasy.


Your stalker


It's not just one time though, Dean. I can't imagine that the author, translator, editor, copy editor and proofreader all missed so many.


Ann, that's why, if I'm reading a book to blurb it on the jacket, I need to read an actual book. At worst a ring-bound print-out. A file or loose pages just makes me reach for my post-it notes.


Augh! Just those examples are driving me crazy.


Without more, this really looks like poor editing/translation.

Could it be perhaps that events in the past are not punctuated while present day action is? (Although, I'm confident that you would have broken such a code)

I wonder if it might have something to do with who/how many people are hearing the words?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, exactly, even those examples are hair-ripping..

Is our “problem “ assuming that there’s a logical reason?

Storyteller Mary

We used a book of short stories with so many errors that I finally instructed my students to edit their copies as we read. At a conference, I stopped at the publisher's booth and asked about it. Someone had pulled up the wrong file and printed from an early version. We had something similar happen with our students' literary magazine. Technology is so temperamental and perhaps is the culprit here.
There was once an NPR interview of an author who refused to use quotation marks, just didn't like them. His publisher put all dialogue in italics. African-American author, last name White . . . I did get one of his books, and found it distracting to read.


See now I don't mind *consistent* idiosyncratic speech signalling. Is it Roddy Doyle who uses a dash? It's the lack of any discernible pattern that's bothering me here.

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