Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by E. Jerome Davis
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of locally published books. This is to be commended and supported.
However, local authors must make a greater effort to improve the quality of their works. Although perfection may not be expected, the number of errors must be reduced.
A major recurring error is the incorrect punctuation of dialogue or direct speech. Example: “I did not say that.”
He said: “I did not say that,” he said.
Other errors such as ‘laid’ for ‘lay’ (He laid on the bed. // He lay on the bed.) and the absence of appropriate commas, must be avoided.
Another major challenge for local authors is the use of the past perfect or pluperfect tense. Unfortunately, this tense is often missing. Example: I reached the cashier and felt for my wallet only to realize that I forgot it at home. ( ……that I had forgotten it at home.) I strongly advise local authors to obtain a hard copy proof of their work and have it proofread by a competent person before going to print.
Reading your work on the computer is not the same as reading a hard copy. And please note that your editor should not be your proof-reader.