EDITING 101: 56 – ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’…

Here is another informative article in this series from Susan and Chris. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’

These three words are sometimes used together as a phrase, implying regret: A writer should have hired an editor, would have used some beta readers, or could have spent more time on self-editing in order to dodge the poor reviews he’s received.

While that shoulda-woulda-coulda phrase might be accurate for an Ape blog post on how to improve your sales or reviews, that’s not what we’re focusing on today. We’re going to look at the actual words.

First, let’s clarify the correct usage. Slang in speech has reduced this to “should of,” “would of,” and “could of” in writing. That’s completely incorrect, even in dialogue, although an editor might leave “shoulda” alone in slangy dialogue. What you’re hearing…

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