Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Thin Line Between Funny and Lame

Have you ever thought about the difference one word can make?

We have a line in THE LIAR SOCIETY that reads as follows:

"Liam shook his head back and forth, and Seth looked like he might poop his pants."

Our copyeditor helpfully pointed out that, gramatically speaking, it should read:

"Liam shook his head back and forth, and Seth looked like he might poop in his pants."

But, um, that's not funny. At. All.

Isn't it amazing how one two letter word can transform a sentence from a snarky observation to a Depends commercial?

For the record we ended up accepting almost every single change our copyeditor proposed (we're pretty sure she's some kind of genius), except that one. What can we say? We take the whole pants pooping thing very seriously.

29 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Hah! I've done that. I can't remember the exact sentence, but I know I wrote that my character 'up-chucked his tongue'. Um...not exactly what I was going for. Fresh eyes are great, aren't they?

Matthew Rush said...

Well the editor is technically right, of course, but I'm a bit surprised they didn't notice the intentional bad grammar. Oh well, at least you ladies stood your ground over some very important juvenile humor!

LOL.

Jemi Fraser said...

Glad you kept that one! :)

Christina Lee said...

hahaha-- who would've thunk!

E.J. Wesley said...

Hmmm ... I think someone must have pooped IN the CE's Captain Crunch as a child. I bet he/she is a riot at Scrabble parties.

It's their job, I suppose. Then again, it's someone's job to throw puppies and kittens in jail, and I don't have to like them either.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was reading them thinking, "But the first one is so much better."

Glad you kept it!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ewe dear. I'm pretty sure a copy editor would have a field day with my MS. But I agree it's important to stick to the 'voice' and humor and yes, one word can change it all!

Jared Larson said...

Pat yourselves on the back. I think you two are the geniuses.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Looks like a voice issue to me. :shrug: Go figger. I'm glad you gals stuck to your guns. =o)

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

LMAO! I can't wait to read your book. Pants pooping is hilarious, whichever way you write it

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hahahaha! Ok, that's hilarious.

You said poop in your story. Love. It.

Michelle McLean said...

ha! amazing what one little word will do :) glad you stuck to your poop..er, guns ;-)

Carolyn V. said...

Wow, it did make a difference. Awesome editor!

Sara B. Larson said...

Ha ha, that's too funny. Who would have thought "in" could make such a big difference? You guys are comedic genuises. ;)

SWK said...

Heeheehee. Can't wait to read this book! Stasia

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ah, VOICE and its importance. Sometimes you gotta screw the grammar. :D

Elana Johnson said...

ROTFL! I admit, it took me a second to find what the difference was. Those pesky two-letter words. And you accepted everything?? Oh, crap. My copyeditor probably hates me...

Marsha Sigman said...

As self-proclaimed poop expert, I can confirm this was the right choice.

lbdiamond said...

You chose your battle wisely. Well done. ;)

Talli Roland said...

It is a fine line - and even more so when it comes to poop.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

LOL. Only you guys could make a valid literary point all while using the word "poop." *bows to the masters*

Claire Dawn said...

I tend to think grammar books have very little todo with how people actually talk. Unless you're going for literary, your book is probably full on grammatically incorrect things. But if they work and are understable, I say keep em.

Cuz grammar was originally all about making sure everyone was on the same page.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

You guys are something special...Can't wait to read The Liar Society!

Nicole Zoltack said...

LOL Glad you kept the original!

Amie Kaufman said...

If you're going to draw the line anywhere, it has to be at protecting your poop jokes. Nice work, ladies.

Samantha Vérant said...

Depends...

Do you get it?

Bahahahaha. Depends.

Abby Minard said...

haha, love it! That's really cool you had the ability to say no to the edit.

jdcoughlin said...

So true. Popping in your pants is a totally different thing from pooping your pants. Everyone knows that. I mean, geez louise pooping in your pants is not funny at all.

Ishta Mercurio said...

ITA with you guys! "Pooped his pants" is waaaay funnier than "pooped in his pants", which is just gross.

Yup - it's the little tings. *sigh*