Bad Language

Some of you will have read excerpts from my book. I’ll pre-empt any criticism now. MJ GC, and CP will surely delight in pointing out any grammatical errors

I know there are mistakes in my book. When I emailed the manuscript away for proof-reading I suggested a light touch. Copy-editing is more thorough, but might have been too intrusive. I wanted my book to be loose and informal. It’s neither a literary novel, nor an academic text book. My readers are not, in the main, academics. My biggest mistake I made though, was thinking I could copy-edit the first proofs over a morning pint at Wetherspoons.

There are instances of fake news. The Singing Detective TV series comes from 1986, and not the 1990s, as I said in the book. TfLs licensing of minicabs might not have come into effect in 2000 as I claimed.

There are errors of grammar, and repetitions. My starting of sentences with “But” and “And” is intentional. I know the rules; I have just chosen to break them. If starting a sentence with “But” is good enough for Peter James it’s good enough for me.

I have pleased myself over the use of capitals. I might not always be right, but I’ve tried to be consistent. You’ll notice many fragmented sentences. And when I split an infinitive, it stays split. That’s the way I like it, so there. My use of “&.” Instead of the more common “etc.” is something I took from Jane Eyre. Thanks, Charlotte Bronte. Some people don’t like double quote marks either. I do.

As for the content; sometimes it’s serious and full of facts and figures; more commonly it’s not. There’s enough detail to interest cab drivers, but I want to appeal to the general reader. I assume no prior knowledge. There are passages about one-way systems and road closures for hard users, but if I’ve done my job properly, I’ve explained everything. There is no doubt a raft of sweeping generalisations and lazy stereotyping. sometimes I’ve gone for laughs rather than 100% accuracy. I often go off piste and talk about things like pets, pubs and football. I like variety and I’ve tried to keep the interest up. I’ve basically written the book I like to read. I hope you like it too.




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