Monday, April 10, 2006

Masters of Literature

If you see an adverb, kill it.
- Mark Twain

I do not care for adverbs or exclaimation points. Of course, they both have their place. Either can be used here and there and not be offensive. I have often used them on this website. Sometimes they're OK. But over-use of either is just crappy writing. And when they are overused, I hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em! I just read a "Strawberry Shortcake" book to my kid for the 20th time!! It's riddled with multiple instances of both on every page!!! I counted 14 exclaimation points on the first five pages!!!!!

"That's really big!" Strawberry exclaimed excitedly.
"Yes it is!!" Huck answered boastfully.
bom-chicka-wah-wah . . .

I know its a kid's book, and I should not care. But I have to read it, out loud. Often. Some kids books are beautiful. "Miss Rumphius" is a wonderful book. "Strawberry," well, it's crap. It's just plain bad writing. It's not doing my kid any favors. She doesn't care! I do!! I verbally edit half of it out on the fly!!!

Take a writing class, Strawberry Shortcake book writer! Or get a better editor!!

"Tomorrow, Kurt Vonnegut!" Knucklehead exclaims, breathlessly!!!!!!!


At 8:09 PM , Blogger newscoma said...

And on Friday, the fabulously, compelling, extravagantly, disturbingly magnificantly contructed "The Story of O!"
Okay, I hate adverbs as well, but I sort of like "The Story of O" although it ain't no Strawberry Shortcake.
If it's any consolation, I read "Go Dog Go" last night, which I sort of enjoyed.

At 5:06 AM , Blogger Evi said...

Oh shit Knucklehead, you'll hate my blog. But i do refuse capitalizing my "i"'s when referring to myself since i find it to be egocentrical. So that'll count for something, right?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S.I always paraphrase kid's books too. If you ask me, my kids like my versions a lot better...I used to cheat and skip pages but they caught on when they got older. Darn it.

At 9:23 AM , Anonymous Mark R said...

Man, I don't even use exclamation point after Jeopardy.

At 10:40 AM , Anonymous hooluvsyabaybee said...

your blog is exceptionally wonderful and you should be exceedingly proud of the spectaularly good job you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 12:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strawberry Shortcake is mindless drivel!!! People keep giving my five year old daughter books like that and I drop them behind the bookcase. Along with the badly illustrated religious ones. And the ones that make noise. Then I pretend I don't know what happened to them.

Children's books I love (unsolicited, I know): Princess Furball, Zen Shorts, books illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.

At 11:18 PM , Blogger Kat Coble said...

Check the back to see who the publisher is.

If it's published by the company I'm betting did it, it's not written by a "writer" at all, and it has no editor.

At 5:25 PM , Blogger Vol Abroad said...

Nothing wrong with an artfully used adverb.

But I feel your pain on the exclamation points. I often have to edit case studies on boring stuff and people insist using punctuation to liven it up. Drives me insane. Professional people using double exclamation points.

And for kids writing, well it's downright irresponsible. No wonder the little tykes scream all the time.

At 2:20 PM , Blogger Freddie said...

I know 'zactly what you mean. Those Strawberry Shortcake books are awful, but they're always Sunshine's favorite, and we get to read them over and over and over and over...

It we could just find a surefire way to stay away from the Strawberry Shortcake when we go to the library.


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