Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

Let's Fix English

I'm a staunch defender of correct grammar, but there are some things we could do to make our language easier to use.

1. Allow ain't. The reason we have so much trouble with it is that some subject-verb connections are done with the adverb not added to the verb: you aren't, he isn't, etc., and some require us to attach the verb to the pronoun and let not trail behind: I'm not, you're not.
The simplest fix would be to let all pronouns use ain't for the negative: I ain't, you ain't, he ain't. Yes, it sounds wrong to those who paid attention in English class, but simple works, and in a generation, maybe less, it would be fine.

2. Forget whom and whomever. They sound stuffy and no one knows when to use them anyway. Once an editor tried to "fix" my usage, and I had to explain that "to whoever made the phone call" is correct.

3. Find a plural for you. I dislike yous, but I think I could live with y'all or even simpler, yall.

4. Invent a neutral pronoun. When we don't know if the person discussed is male or female, we get all confused. Most people use they or their ("A person never knows when their chance will come."), which is wrong since their is plural and only one person is mentioned. It would work, but we seem reluctant to use that word for people, and there would be that nagging problem of whether its needs an apostrophe or not. (It doesn't.) So we need a pronoun with no gender, but any way we try to combine she, he, & it ends unfortunately. Heesh is one possibility that's been suggested. ("A person never knows when heesh chance will come.") Maybe.

That's just the beginning. Elect me Grammar Protector and I'll come up with more.


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