Let's talk about tiny things.
Bearing in mind, of course, that I do line edits. Which means I'm not only making comments about the story, I'm fixing grammatical and punctuation errors, too. The more errors I have to fix, the more tedious the job.
So I thought I'd point out a few today, just in case these little babies have somehow slipped under your radar. Remember--a clean manuscript is a beautiful manuscript. :)
This is certainly a wee thing. But here's the rule:
IN in used to denote LOCATION:
The rabbit was sleeping IN the box.
She found her keys IN her purse.
INTO is used to denote ENTRANCE:
He slid his hands INTO his pockets.
She put the fish INTO the refrigerator.
Most common error: Using "in" when you should use "into". As in, "He slid his hands in his pocket." It's true that, once he does the sliding, his hands are IN his pockets, but as he's doing it, it's INTO the pockets they go.
2. DIFFERENT THAN/FROM
The correct usage is DIFFERENT FROM. As in, always. "Different than" is commonly used in both speech and writing, but it's incorrect. And it makes my teeth curl.
Full disclosure: I've only learned this in recent years. I still find "different than" here and there when I edit my own work. Old habits die hard!
But, yes. It's
I'm not so different from you.
Avocados are different from artichokes.
Some of you will balk at this one, but I'm going to say it, anyway: THE CORRECT WORD IS SNEAKED.
And, yes. I change it in the work I edit. Every. Single. Time.
Here's the thing: "Snuck", which sneaked into American English some time in the early 20th century, is so widely used and accepted, that, yes, some people think it's okay to, yanno, use it. And there are cases when, for the sake of voice, it might work in your novel. Like, if you've written a middle grade story from the first person viewpoint of the main character, and he happens to talk that way. In that instance, "sneaked" would sound inauthentic.
Most of the time, and especially if you write adult novels, SNEAKED is the correct choice. It is the grammatically correct past tense form of the verb TO SNEAK.
The present, past, and past participle of TO SNEAK are: SNEAK, SNEAKED, HAS SNEAKED
These 3 forms are used to make all 6 tenses of the verb:
I will sneak.
I have sneaked.
I had sneaked.
I will have sneaked.
(And by now, the word "sneak" doesn't even feel like a real word.)
Thus endeth my little list of wee things. (Well, inside my head, they're not so wee. I sort of want to claw things when I see these errors.)
And now I'm off to ballet class after not-quite-5 hours of sleep (don't ask). This should be interesting.
Happy weekend, all!