Friday, October 12, 2007

The Apostrophic Michael Winter

from Chronicles of a Doctoral Diva

The Mystery Behind the Apostrophe

Michael Winter is a funny man. He had hilarious anecdotes to share and was full of energy. But beneath all that performance pizzazz, lingers a sharp mind.

His response to the question about his lack of apostrophes: it quickens the pace, gives the text more of a memoir style, it bridges gaps. “Don’t you find,” he said, “that an apostrophe is like a marker screaming: Dear Reader, we used to have two words, but we dropped some letters and replaced them with a squiggly sign – now, please read on.” He made a list of all the words with apostrophes that did not lose meaning with the removal of the squiggle – and removed it. Of course, this was a nightmare for the copyeditor, who got tons of letters and complaints. Thus at the back of the new novel, The Architects Are Here, there is a little blurb warning the reader NOT to write to the copyeditor about the poor punctuation.

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The Big Why, Michael Winter's dazzling reinvention of the historical novel and witty faux memoir of the American artist Rockwell Kent, is being published in an unabridged audio edition by Rattling Books.

Click here to listen to a clip from The Big Why