Click here to read fiction by Susan L. Williams. Click here to learn more about Spider Web Press. Click here to go to The Teddy Lady. Click here for lessons from Holy Mother Grammatica.



Show Don't Tell


Point of View

Tense Persons


Names, Pronouns, Descriptive Phrases



Plurals, Numbers, and Apostrophes


Common Errors


Favorite Bloopers

Contact HMG


<-Part 1  

Holy Mother Grammatica's Favorites Part 2

Many months have passed since HMG posted her first list of favorite bloopers. Now, after exhausting research into fanfiction, sometimes requiring HMG to read ten or more stories per day, a task so demanding that, upon occasion, only HMG's tireless dedication to her work enabled her to continue, she has at last compiled her second, far longer, list of favorites, which she presents here for your entertainment and education. She hopes you enjoy it, and thanks those discerning readers who were kind enough to contribute to this second installment.

Just a reminder: HMG does not list author or title of story, and she does not wish to know that information. Names of original characters have been changed to protect the guilty. All examples are presented as written, with the exception of one snippage, the occasional censoring of naughty words, and the following, which have been altered at the request of the author in whose work the mistakes were originally made: Wrong Word There, Chief, numbers 5, 39a, 40, 41, 42, and 43.

Beta Readers? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Beta Readers?



  1. "I'm sure there's la great deal of material to work from."

    Ah, ze French, zey are so clevair.

    Correct: Just an extra letter: "a great deal of material"

  2. If you didn't change me, then you would have to watch me grow old and die too, and I don't think I can't bear *that*.

    I don't think I can't. In fact, I think I can!

    Correct: Either "I don't think I can bear that" OR "I can't bear that."

  3. Hans Solo waved and his image faded from Blair's private screening to the STAR WARS theme.

    In the German version of Star Wars.

    Correct: Han Solo

  4. "I bet you're pretty tough, hanging out with the cops and everything." the vice was smooth and rich.

    That's the best kind of vice.

    Correct: voice. And it's "The voice," as this is a new sentence.

  5. "There was one bag in his stomach and two others had already moved into his bowls. "

    Well, at least he got rid of those safely.

    Correct: bowels

  6. Stealthily, he drew nearer to the bed, and the beautiful creature that longed naked on the sheets.

    His longing was unBAREable.

    Correct: lounged

  7. Hands fumbling slightly, the older man pushed Blair's shirt wide, scrapping his nipples along the way.

    And where is Blair going to hang his nipple ring?

    Correct: scraping

  8. Curling their bodies into one another, they feel asleep, joined by a bond stronger than state or church.

    So, does feeling asleep have the same benefits as actual sleeping?

    Correct: Curling their bodies around one another, they fell asleep....

  9. Give me a break, you've been mopping around for weeks now, half-heartedly participating in lovemaking, never initiating it; I don't think we've just snuggled in ages and I refuse to ignore it anymore.

    Sure, but he's keeping the place clean.

    Correct: moping

  10. Jim reflects on the resent past, and makes some plans for the future.

    Jim didn't like his past, so he had it sent again.

    Correct: recent

  11. Blair might have stained his voice a little too much earlier, but Jim was trying very hard not to look at his roommate.

    Ah, but what color did he stain it?

    Correct: strained

  12. He couldn't take off and leave Brown alone, not when Smith could easily put a pullet in the detective's head on his way past the car.

    Oh my God! It's a drive-by roosting!

    Correct: bullet. But the image of a chicken penetrating Brown's head is rather amusing.

  13. "You remember when Brackett made us cross that mind field?"

    Oh, wow, man, flashback!

    Correct: minefield

  14. Blair looked, for all the world, like a figure from a pre-Ralphaelite painting.

    Also known as the pre-Kramden period. The older readers among you will get that.

    Correct: Pre-Raphaelite

  15. It didn't matter how short or pudgy, thin or bald, buck-toothed or acme scarred, they were.

    Wow, those are some swell scars you've got there!

    Correct: acne

  16. Blair could here the pain and confusion in John's voice and knew the man was most likely suffering from a concussion.

    Here the pain, there the pain, everywhere the pain pain.

    Correct: hear

  17. When they hit the street, Jim saw laser sights tag him and Blair in the chest, from opposite angels.

    And even Heaven warred against them.

    Correct: angles

  18. "Chief, wait," he protested weekly before he found himself hitting the bed.

    Every week, the same old thing....

    Correct: weakly

  19. Blair was striped and tied face down on the stone.

    The fiends! Could they not have been merciful and polka-dotted him instead?

    Correct: stripped

  20. A small heard of elk were grazing in the shady area, eating grass casually, as if they had not a care in the world.

    Oh, those elk. I've heard of them.

    Correct: herd

  21. "Then I went and enjoyed the army."

    When Jim first realized he was bisexual....

    Correct: Ahem. Jim joined the Army.

  22. "I'm threw talking, Ellison."

    He really hurls those words.

    Correct: through, of course

  23. Blair craned his neck to see what his was doing, but Jim interposed a shoulder, shouting.

    So, what was his doing? For that matter, what was his?

    Correct: Should be "he," naturally.

  24. Echoing that, Jim lost his steady pace and began to thrust in ernest, part of him unsure as to he was entering or entered.

    But is Ernest happy about this?

    Correct: earnest

  25. Short, too young to be anything more than a student - 26 if he was a day - dressed in worm jeans and an oversized blue shirt, long curly hair framing wide blue eyes.

    Worm jeans?!? Ewwww, ick!

    Correct: Just a typo, HMG is sure: "worn" jeans. While she is here, dashes should be doubled hyphens without spaces between them and the words. And please, no one is "twenty-six if he's a day," for two reasons. When one is estimating age, one generally does it in multiples of five or ten, as in "He looks about twenty-five." To be less specific, "He looks about mid-twenties." And the saying "(insert age here) if he's a day" generally implies that the subject is older than he is claiming to be.

  1. His heart rates came down and I'm guessing his blood pressure is leveling out as we speak.

    And how many hearts does he have?

    Correct: "heart rate." In addition, HMG thinks it highly unlikely that his blood pressure "leveling out" is a good thing.

  2. The Sentinel's senses cam up, as did his body, like a computer coming up from a screen saver.

    So that's how they get those TS special effects shots!

    Correct: One tiny letter: "came"

  3. He wasn't usually she about his body.

    That's good. Wouldn't want to have any of that gender confusion going on here.

    Correct: "shy", though "she" is more interesting.

  4. I've seen Naomi walk out of two many relationships over a few cross words.

    Only two? If she gets that upset, wouldn't she have left at least a dozen?

    Correct: In yet another illustration of why a spellchecker just isn't enough, this should be "too".

  5. The Guide began to move toying with her nipples while he trusted into her.

    It's so important to have a Guide you can trust.

    Correct: The Guide began to move, toying with her nipples while he thrust into her.

  6. "OK, I give, what does my flower apron have to do with this?"

    Would Jim look better in orchids or daisies?

    Correct: A "flower" apron is an apron actually made of flowers. Jim's apron is "flowered", made of fabric printed with flowers.

  7. Blair was writing frantically now, his hips almost a blur as he thrust upward into Jim's mouth and downward onto his fingers.

    Blair's at it again. If I were Jim, I would definitely be insulted.

    Correct: A common typo in TS slashfic. Should be "writhing".

  8. Sopping in front of him, Blair stared into his eyes, making sure Jim was listening.

    Blair's all wet.

    Correct: Missing letter. "Stopping"

  9. What went trough you as you lay there, all alone and in pain?

    And with thirsty horses trying to drink out of you....

    Correct: Just another missing letter: "through"

  10. The Syndicat killed her.

    Watch out! It's organized feline crime!

    Correct: "Syndicate". But you knew that, and so did the author.

  11. Jim heard him click his ballpoint men.

    Ballpoint men are so much smoother than regular men.

    Correct: Just a typo, but a good one! "pen", of course.

  12. "Copying mechanism?"

    Yeah, you know, Jim, a xerox machine.

    Correct: In fact, this was supposed to say "coping" mechanism.

  13. When he reached the head of the leaking (body part), he opened wide enough to engulf the crown while craddling the balls in one hand.


    Correct: To the best of HMG's knowledge, "craddling" is not a word, but she rather wishes it were, as she can imagine it referring to something to do with eggs. Perhaps this is a combination of "cradling" (what the author really intended) and "coddling".

  14. "What's that supposed to me?"

    Yeah, what do I care about that supposed?

    Correct: Just two little letters: "mean".

  15. Then Blair saged against him all of a sudden, wrapping his arms so tightly around Jim it nearly hurt.

    Don't you get wise with me, Sandburg.

    Correct: "sagged", but saged is more fun.

  16. "I'll have Jim to protect me, man." he'd said, seeing in the bog man's eyes his opinion of Jim's protective abilities.

    Now, is that a nice thing to call Joel? For shame.

    Correct: Just another little typo: "big" man.

  17. Rage shook his head.

    Rafe was really really angry.

    Correct: "Rafe", really.

  18. Do you here me!

    There's that primitive throwback/caveman sexual thing coming out again.

    Correct: Or maybe that should have been "hear"?

  19. Pairings: Jim and Blair of coarse

    Well, really, I know it's slash, but it doesn't have to be vulgar!

    Correct: "Of course", of course.

  20. Just then, Jim felt a presents at his side.

    Ooo, what kind of presents? Birthday or Christmas?

    Correct: "presence"

  <-Part 1
Part 3->