In case you’re new here, I’ll explain that I’m doing a final polish of a novel. I’m down to rewording a sentence or two and some other nitpicky stuff. One thing my editor marked in several places was an omission of a word. The pure typos I corrected immediately, but a few other sentences she flagged looked fine to me.
These debated instances are in narrative, but they reflect how I would speak those sentences. I’ve concluded that either my speech is eccentric, or the way I speak is a regional thing. And if it’s regional—how big a region does it encompass? As much as possible, I want to avoid causing a reader to stop, reread, and mentally rewrite. Obviously, the “missing” word stopped her. If it would stop the majority of you, dear readers, I want to change it.
Once again, I need your help.
In each sentence below, a word may be missing. I could make it easier by telling you the word she felt I omitted in these sentences, but what fun would that be? So, tell me, do these sentences read correctly to you, or did you feel the need to supply a missing word?
- She looked down at the album as if she needed a visual reminder who Stephen was.
- At the least, she owed her an explanation why she’d had to drive all the way over here.
- Though she knew it was irrational, she couldn’t still the fear that just outside those beams something huge and solid—a stalled semi, a mountain—waited for them to slam into at full force.
If you comment, please let me know where you grew up. That way maybe I can determine whether I’m just odd or a creature of culture. Well, I guess we already know I’m odd, but you know …
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33 thoughts on “Word usage. Is it a regional thing?”
California raised. Those sentences read fine to me except the last one, where I caught myself mentally sliding “it” into the last sentence.
Thanks, Andrea. Since this is going public, I felt it safest to go with the majority in narrative. 😉
Coming in late, Linda, but I agree with the Editor. I’m from Canada – so, like a NZer, have the British influence. If I am not sure, I err on the side of Britain and that’s kept me in good stead. (Business world, that is.)
Thank you. Yes, I’ve cleaned up my act … well, in my narrative, at least. 🙂