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To be or not to be pedantic

t’s easy to be concerned about people who are pedantic – who are constantly finding minor faults, when you’re writing.
For a while I was concerned about this, but I’ve now overcome it and write whatever I want, within reason.
I think that it’s a matter of commonsense.
You can either write something which is ‘pedantically correct,’ let’s call it, i.e something which would please someone who is pedantic.
Or you can write something which although it might not be pedantically correct, pleases you and your readers.
Let’s take a look at the following.
‘She put the paint brush down in the brush tray of the easel and looked with a critical eye at the water colour of the house that she was painting. ‘
I wrote this a few weeks’ ago, and it looked fine to me at the time, because I couldn’t see that there was anything wrong with ‘critical eye.’
But now, a few weeks’ later, I’m editing the scene which contains this sentence and suddenly it’s no longer fine.
What went wrong?
I suddenly became pedantic, that’s what went wrong.
I asked myself: ‘If she looked at the painting with a critical eye, does this mean that she only has one eye – her critical one?’
However, in reality everyone knows that a ‘critical eye’ doesn’t mean this, i’t just an expression, it’s just a convenient and rather pleasing way of explaining that she looked at it critically.
In that case, why not just say so?
Why not write something like the following?
‘She put the paint brush down in the brush tray of the easel and looked critically at the water colour of the house that she was painting. ‘
This is ok but really I prefer to use ‘critical eye,’ because I like the way that it looks.
But I’m afraid to do so because someone who is ‘pedantically correct’ might make a stupid comment about her having only one eye – her critical one.
At least I was.
I now realise that it’s better to use my commonsense and write something which is aesthetically pleasing rather than write something which is pleasing to someone who is pedantic.
Let’s take a look at the following.
‘She put the paint brush down in the brush tray of the easel and looked with a critical eye at the water colour of the house that she was painting. ‘
I wrote this a few weeks’ ago, and it looked fine to me at the time, because I couldn’t see that there was anything wrong with ‘critical eye.’
But now, a few weeks’ later, I’m editing the scene which contains this sentence and suddenly it’s no longer fine.
What went wrong?
I suddenly became pedantic, that’s what went wrong.
I asked myself: ‘If she looked at the painting with a critical eye, does this mean that she only has one eye – her critical one?’
However, in reality everyone knows that a ‘critical eye’ doesn’t mean this, i’t just an expression, it’s just a convenient and rather pleasing way of explaining that she looked at it critically.
In that case, why not just say so?
Why not write something like the following?
‘She put the paint brush down in the brush tray of the easel and looked critically at the water colour of the house that she was painting. ‘
This is ok but really I prefer to use ‘critical eye,’ because I like the way that it looks.
But I’m afraid to do so because someone who is ‘pedantically correct’ might make a stupid comment about her having only one eye – her critical one.
At least I was.
I now realise that it’s better to use my commonsense and write something which is aesthetically pleasing rather than write something which is pleasing to someone who is pedantic.

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