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Is this just me?

June 16, 2013 by Suzi

 

Are you one of those people who get annoyed when you find grammatical errors in a novel? (Or novella, short story, newspaper/magazine article, children’s book… :) )
 
And do you get annoyed a lot? Or just a little?
 
I fall into the I-don’t-get-annoyed-much category, with the exception of if it’s a mistake that happens consistently throughout the book. But sometimes I get into a story that has style issues I don’t like. Of course that’s a totally personal thing, but I’m gonna talk about the ones I don’t like. Actually, I’ll only talk about one today because:
 
1. People tend to skim posts when they get too long
2. I want to drag this out into two posts cause it’s one less posting I have to create. :)
 
So have you seen any novels where the author didn’t use quotation marks?
 
A few years back I ready LABOR DAY by Joyce Maynard. I loved the story and would still recommend it to others, but one thing about it frustrated me. Her lack of quotation marks. She used dialog tags, but still, sometimes it got confusing. In the end, it took away from the enjoyment of the book.
 
It was just weird. I’ve never read anything else by her, so I don’t know if she’s used that style a lot, or if LABOR DAY was the only one. But it is the only novel I’ve read with no quotation marks, and I’m sure there are others. It won’t stop me from read a book, but it will slow me down.
 
Have you ever read a book that didn’t use quotation marks in their dialogue?
Did it bother you?
Have you read LABOR DAY? (If you haven’t, you should.)
 


8 Comments »

  1. I don’t have a problem with grammatical errors as long as it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the language. But I think not using quotation marks would definitely throw me off.

  2. Kyra Lennon says:

    I don’t worry about the occasional grammatical error, but when it happens a lot, I do get annoyed. I would for sure put down a book if there weren’t any quotation marks!

  3. The occasional grammatical error or typo: I notice it, and usually think the editor fell down on the job (unless it’s a self-pub, then I don’t know whether they had an editor). Consistent errors: I get really annoyed. Sometimes can’t even finish the book. Quotation marks: I’ve read books without them, but those have always been translations from another language (for some reason the translators didn’t mark the dialogue or something). I do find it a bit strange, but if the book is formatted well, it needn’t be confusing.

  4. Ashley says:

    I feel like I ran into the whole dialogue tag thing when I was reading Absolom, Absolom, but I could be wrong….cause that book was like having a migraine (no offense to anyone who adores it).

  5. I usually don’t get too upset by grammatical errors. They happen to the best of us!

    And as for reading a book without quotations, I’ve never done it. But every once in a while my Kindle will leave them off e-books and it confuses the heck out of me. I doubt I’d do well with a whole book that way. :)

  6. I tend to notice typos and glaring grammatical errors – the less obvious ones tend to slip by since I am definitely not an expert on grammar. :)

    I’ve read books where quotation marks were not used, and I usually find it distracting in the beginning, but if the story is compelling, I don’t notice the lack of quotation marks after awhile.

  7. Morgan Shamy says:

    No quotation marks??? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Interesting. And mistakes in books don’t bother me too much… but mistakes in posts do–like on facebook or billboards or something!

  8. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    I’ll notice typos, but they don’t bother me. I think no quotation marks would though. If you have to look at it twice to figure out who’s talking, or that someone is talking, then it takes you out of the story. I’ve heard The Color Purple is like that, too, but I haven’t read it.

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