Friday, May 11, 2012

Is bad grammar becoming the accepted norm?

I read this post today by the very successful agent, Kristen Nelson (who is on my dream list of agents) about 50 Shades of Gray and what books like it are doing to the publishing industry....basically books that are poorly written, but by some fluke are getting mega attention.

The comment made by the very first person really made me think. (I didn't go on to read many more comments, as I had a feeling I might walk away from this post feeling crabby and I really didn't want to puts myself in a bad mood!)

Anyway, if you don't want to go read it, the commenter basically said that the average reader doesn't care about style and grammar, only editors and agents do.

This really made me start to wonder. Have readers just become used to poorly written books with bad grammar and stories with shallow plot lines?

Part of me says no. I also read recently that readers have become extremely leery of the 99 cent book...they've been burned far too many times. It's only a buck, but still....once you buy 10 or 20 bad 99 cent books, it sure adds up.

As always, this industry just keeps changing and morphing. Where would I be without Twitter to constantly update me??? LOL!


  1. I didn't read 5 Shades of Gray and don't intend to. I don't know much about it, except that it's way too scandalous for me. But I don't think the comment implies so many books are poorly written or poorly edited. I think most people like to read stuff that sounds conversational, and conversational is often not grammatically correct. That being said, I don't want to se.e grammatical errors so confusing they pull me out of the story.

  2. I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray and I have no intention of ever reading it. I have heard/read that there are so many other authors who are much better writers. Many of them I already read. So I don't feel the need to be part of the conversation about this "flavor of the month."

    Now for my two cents...In reference to the use of bad grammer, I can't stand it. I am instantly turned off when I read a book that has so many mistakes that I can't follow the plot line. If the author, editor, publisher, etc. is that relaxed in printing something with many grammar mistakes, then I wonder if the story really is any good. I understand using current lexicon in the language, but writing is still writing and needs to follow the grammar rules.

    I will step off of my soap box now..Thank you

  3. I think some readers might not care about grammar but I do think they care about plot and characters. Most of the time, stories that are flat with horrible grammar will turn off readers. Why this story became so popular, I can't say, but I don't think stories like this will often reach the same level of success as this story has.