Crazy Rich Asians and Other Nonsense


People be all up in my grill like "B, you crazy MFer, no one cares 'bout grammar, you fucking twit. It's the two-thousandth century already."

Or similar stupid bullshit.

Anyways, today's screed shall be about consistency and logic. For many, this will be too much. You'll run for the exits, screaming and trampling each other to death because you were born in a barn and have no social cuing skills whatsoever. For you, I make the same recommendation that I make to beginning writers who suck (or perhaps "other beginning writers who suck," depending on your situation)—quit now and get a new hobby so that your life, on the whole, becomes more valuable and less suckworthy.


Let's start with a snippet from a recent article about the Crazy Rich Asians cowriter who is getting screwed on her salary (figuratively, not literally; this needs to be pointed out because I've seen strippers do such calisthenics literally):
One should be consistent with the words one uses. Note in the first paragraph of el snippetivo the use of the word "co-writer." Though personally I find the use of "co-writer," "co-producer," and "non-fiction" particularly jarring, if you're going to use one of these abominations, at least do so consistently. Otherwise, you are simply a toad posing as a prince (or maybe a maggot posing as a Chihuahua). In this case, the writer of this badly written piece uses "co-screenwriter" and "co-writer," then switches to "cowrite" in the second paragraph. WTF, fine lady?

Numero B in our prosecutorial dirge is the statement (highlighted in gray) "she was making eight to 10 times less than her fellow co-writer."

First of all, don't mix written numbers and numerals. Either use "eight to ten" or "8 to 10." In fiction, these would usually be written out. In journalism, they typically would not. But for the love of our lord and savior, the flying spaghetti monster, be consistent.

2nd, learn math or stick with simple stuff. Let's say the guy in question is making $1,000,000 a year and his female counterpart is making just $100,000 a year. She is making one-tenth his salary. She is NOT making "eight to 10 times less" (note that I used quotation marks, so I wrote that exactly as it was originally written, inconsistency and all). To make "eight to 10 times less," she would be making $8,000,000 to $10,000,000 less (his salary times 8 to 10). Thus, her salary would be negative $9,900,000 to negative $7,900,000, the negative implying that she is PAYING the studio that amount to work for them.

I point this out because I've seen it cropping up quite a bit of late.

On to other crap. One reason I have such an aversion to overwrought description is because it tends to make one's writing so murky that stupid mistakes start popping up everywhere, sort of like an American who doesn't speak Spanish in a Monterrey whorehouse. So when you get all crazy with your meaningless descriptions, check them for continuity.

Example 1—I once read a manuscript where the characters are sitting on the west side of the house drinking coffee one morning, watching the sunrise.

Example dos—A writer went into a massively long (and boring as fuck) description of what some Wild West cowboy was wearing while standing in the local mercantile exchange. This involved also stating exactly where said cowpoke was standing in relation to the room (information that's always fun to have, said no one ever). Meanwhile, his avowed enemy is on the other side of the room. Of course, without moving, cowboy one swings at cowboy B. If the punch hadn't landed, at least we could have assumed that cowboy 1 was drunk or high. Nope. He landed that fucker squarely on the chin.

So think about these things. When I edit convoluted stuff like this, I try to visualize the scene from one phrase to the next to see whether the movements make sense. It's a monumentally difficult task, but if I can go on a vision quest with indigenous Hells Angels in a tent in the Sonoran Desert, you should be able to pull off something as simple as this.

(BTW, I still think it should be Crazy-Rich Asians. I didn't find the family in the movie especially crazy, merely rich AF.)

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