There remains a ‘standard English’. And, in many ways, ‘advancement is codified in language’. Language is power. The minute you open your mouth, you are judged by what you say and how you say it.
Julia Maurus discovers the success strategies of American Hugh Howey, the self-published author turned millionaire behind the hit trilogy Wool.
As a traditionalist, I think that using ‘they’ as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is just a slack way of making your text inclusive, whether for marketing reasons or out of fear of being considered politically incorrect.
‘It’s easy for people writing their memoirs to forget that they are telling a story, and that they must step back from their lives a little to consider plot, character development and scene-setting, just as if they were writing a novel,’ says Collings. ‘Often it takes quite a lot of ingenuity to work out what story needs to be told!’
If you don’t have enough respect for your readers to make sure your work is professionally presented, can you blame them if they can’t forgive your bloopers?