Rant: There are no basements in Texas

from Patreon

I freely admit it. I can be a pedant, a grammar nerd and am ridiculously annoyed by things that other people probably don’t even see. I have a great passion for words and language and how language evolved, so yeah, I probably get a bit wound up.

What gets my goat most, is when professionals commit these heinous acts. I go through the roof. Simple things that should be caught by copyeditors slip through…oh yeah, some major publications actually think copyeditors aren’t useful.

Seen recently in professional publications (both online and print):

Homonym Misuse

Lynchpin – NO, the word is linchpin. It is “a person or thing that holds something together” and has ZERO to do with lynching. Merriam Webster accepts the incorrect spelling as a variant, but honestly? It’s only because people don’t know the real word and use the wrong one that it’s gained in use.

Woah – not a word. It’s whoa, like in “Whoa, horsey.” Again, seen in somany places. It’s related to the other pet peeve:

Reign – I see this as in “loosened the reigns” or “reigned in,” neither of which are correct. Reign involves ruling over, like a king. Reining in, loosening the reins are related to you know, reins, as in the things you use to control a horse.

Geography Gone Wrong

All the characters fly (from another country) into Dallas/Fort Worth to then drive to a ranch in Johnson City.

Uh, no. Johnson City is north of San Antonio and in the Texas Hill Country, just off Highway 281. To get there, you might fly into DFW because it’s a hub airport, but you’ll end up in San Antonio or Austin/Bergstrom, then drive. DFW is 228 miles from Johnson City and a mere 64 miles from SAT or 53 miles from AUS.

As for the title of this rant?

Many years ago, someone I knew wrote a story that set the characters in San Antonio. A major plot point had Character A go down into his mom’s basement. I live in San Antonio and know that basements are not a thing, mostly because our entire city sits on a massive sheet of bedrock limestone that is mere inches below the soil. Building anything below ground requires blasting and costs $$$$$$. Thus, houses do not have basements. I wrote a private note to the writer and mentioned this (the story was not yet published.) Said writer refused to make changes, but whatever. It just irks me to no end when something is factually wrong and it takes less than a minute to look up.

/rant